Marcelo Gallardo responds to Barcelona links

River Plate coach Marcelo Gallardo
River Plate coach Marcelo Gallardo - IMAGO / Fotoarena

The Argentine manager is one of the potential candidates to replace Ronald Koeman at the Nou Camp.

Barcelona are currently on the lookout for a new manager as they are looking to sack under-fire boss Ronald Koeman.

The Catalans have reportedly identified River Plate boss Marcelo Gallardo as one of the potential candidates to take over the reins from Koeman.

Now, the Argentine manager has addressed the speculations, insisting that he wants to fulfil his contract at River Plate.

Gallardo said (h/t Barca Blaugranes): “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 fulfil 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.”

Gallardo, who has a contract running until December 2021, has led River Plate a plethora of trophies since taking over in 2014.

It has been widely speculated that Koeman could lose his job after Saturday’s La Liga clash against Atletico Madrid. The Catalan giants have registered only one win in their last five games, with their recent setback coming against Benfica in the Champions League.

Andrea Pirlo, Xavi and Roberto Martinez are other names favoured by Barca president Joan Laporta.