River Plate boss Marcelo Gallardo has spoken about rumors linking him with a move to Barcelona at a news conference on Friday.
The 45-year-old is reportedly one of four names under consideration at the Camp Nou with Ronald Koeman expected to be sacked after Saturday’s clash with Atletico Madrid.
Gallardo addressed the speculation and made it clear he wants to fulfil his contract with River Plate which runs until the end of December 2021.
“I was wondering whether to do the conference or not after what has been said because I knew that I would have to answer this question that I do not want.
“First, I am very focused on Sunday’s game [against Boca Juniors]. Second, everyone knows about my thinking and my decision is to fulfill the contract that I have.
“I have no reason to be distracted by other people’s thoughts. I contractually have the commitment to remain focused on what depends on me, which is to continue with what it means to be the coach of a club like River.
“It never crossed my mind to go beyond some rumors. If they contacted me or not, what sense does it make? My focus is on Sunday’s game, then we’ll see how we continue.”
It seems clear that if Barcelona really do want Gallardo then they will have to wait until 2022 to bring the coach to the Camp Nou.
Gallardo’s comments come on the same day that Roberto Martinez played down rumors he could replace Koeman. Xavi and Andrea Pirlo are the other two names currently being linked.