Argentina legend expresses interest in Middlesbrough vacancy following Tony Pulis' departure - Jonathan Woodgate remains bookies' favourite

Argentina legend Gabriel Batistuta is believed to have expressed an interest in the vacant managerial role at Middlesbrough.

Monday, 20th May 2019, 10:13 am
Gabriel Batistuta (left) playing for Argentina, with Hernan Crespo (right) - Getty.

A source close to Batistuta has revealed to the Mail the former striker is keen on a move to England, and has indicated the 50-year-old has already been the subject of interest from a number of EFL clubs.

A number of potential roles have already caught his attention - including the vacancy left by Tony Pulis’ departure from Middlesbrough on Friday morning.

Gabriel Batistuta (Getty).

Former Middlesbrough and England defender Jonathan Woodgate is the heavy favourite to fill the Riverside Stadium vacancy.

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The source, who would not be named, said: "Gabi has a fantastic record both as a world leading player and technical director.

"He has discussed the potential of a move to England as his first managerial appointment and he is very keen to work with the right club next season.

"The future for Gabi is huge having completed his coaching badges last year and any club in England would be privileged to have him as their manager."

Batistuta made his name as one of world football’s most-feared strikers during the 1990’s as he found the net on a regular basis for Serie A giants Fiorentina and Roma.

He made a big impact at international level too as he became Argentina’s all-time record goalscorer with 54 goals in 77 appearances for the two-time World Cup winners. That record remained in tact until it was surpassed by Barcelona forward Lionel Messi in June 2016.

Batistuta ended his playing career in 2005 after a two-year spell with Qatari club Al-Arabi and has since worked as a technical director and advisor in his home country.

However, he is now ready to move to Europe and wants to kick off his managerial career in England.

Batistuta’s affairs in Europe are currently managed by Black Diamond Sports, who also represent a host of big names across the globe and it is believed that they are currently exploring a number of options in England.

Along with Woodgate, former Boro centre-back Nigel Pearson and former Sunderland manager David Moyes are also amongst the front-runners for the role.