Barcelona react to Martino reports

18 March 2014 03:56:22 EST

Barcelona have moved to deny reports under-pressure coach Gerardo Martino could quit the club to take up the Argentina national job.

The 51-year-old's position came under the spotlight recently from the Catalan press off the back of three defeats in quick succession in La Liga.

Defeats by Valencia, Real Sociedad and Real Valladolid has left the defending champions four points behind bitter rivals Real Madrid ahead of this Sunday's El Clasico at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

Reports had suggested the scrutiny had affected Martino to the point where has was ready to walk away from Camp Nou.

Barca's marketing vice-president Manuel Arroyo said: "We found out a few minutes ago that this news was emanating from somewhere.

"We don't support it, Tata (Martino) is contracted to the club and in this week that is so important to us he is dedicated to Barca.

"We asked him and he has flat out denied it. He has not spoken to anyone, including his staff, it's completely false."

Martino has a clause in his contract, which, if activated, would free him up to take up a position with the country his birth.

Arroyo added: "I can't give you the exact date, but they're practically habitual. It is a clause that exists not only for him but also for us, but I insist, there is no intention to invoke it.

"He hasn't said that he's going to continue, but we are all working towards the future together, more so in this very important week for the club ahead of our trip to the Bernabeu."

Barcelona are currently priced 4/5 in the La Liga outright betting and 1212/1 to win this season's Champions League.

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