Barcelona consider River Plate manager Marcelo Gallardo as potential replacement for Ernesto Valverde

Marcelo Gallardo

River Plate manager Marcelo Gallardo is a contender to succeed Ernesto Valverde as Barcelona manager, according to reports.

Valverde has come under pressure at the Camp Nou at the beginning of the 2019/20 campaign, with his team currently five points off the pace in La Liga.

There were calls for the former Athletic Club boss to be dismissed following last season’s defeat by Liverpool in the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Barcelona took a 3-0 lead into the second leg at Anfield, where they were defeated 4-0 by the side who went on to win the tournament with victory over Tottenham in the Madrid showpiece.

A La Liga title triumph helped save Valverde, but the Spaniard is unlikely to lead the Blaugrana next season unless he guides them to Champions League glory.

And according to TNT Sports, Gallardo is one of the names under consideration as Barcelona begin to plan ahead.

A former attacking midfielder who won 44 caps for Argentina, Gallardo won the Uruguayan top flight with Nacional in 2012, before moving to River Plate two years later.

He has now been in the dugout at the Estadio Monumental for almost five and a half years, establishing himself as one of the brightest coaches in South America.

Gallardo has twice lifted the Copa Libertadores trophy with the Buenos Aires outfit, as well as winning one Copa Sudamericana and two Coppas Argentina.

The 43-year-old is on the verge of taking los Millonarios into another Copa Libertadores final, and he could also take charge of the Argentinians in the Club World Cup final in December.

However, Gallardo has begun to consider his future away from his homeland, with PSG and Monaco having also been linked.

Barcelona have reportedly held talks with the diminutive tactician, but Gallardo is currently concentrating on his job at River.

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