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Marcelino contract renewal to be discussed soon

Marca reports Villarreal and Marcelino will meet soon to discuss extending his contract.

Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images

Marcelino Garcia Toral's contract as coach of Villarreal expires at the end of this season.  Recall he was appointed in January 2013, and his contract went until June 2014; it was extended then until June 2016.   So far, there have been no formal negotiations to extend it, but since Villarreal are happy, and he is happy here, surely a renewal is in the cards.  Marcelino says it has not been a priority to this point, and there is no hurry.

Villarreal has a relatively short list of long-serving managers, at least in recent years.  Jose Antonio Irulegui coached the team from 1996-99 and led the team to its first promotion; Victor Muñoz coached the team from 2000 to 2003, and of course Manuel Pellegrini had the managerial reins from July 2004 to July 2009.  Marcelino is thus on track to pass all but Pelle by the end of this season.

Now, as Robin Harris alluded to in a recent comment, there is a potential fly in the ointment.  Vicente del Bosque's contract runs through the 2016 European Championship--could Marcelino be in the running to replace him?  I believe it's unlikely, since del Bosque, although he will have been Spain's coach for eight years by then, will still be only 65--it's not as if he needs to retire because of age (Luis Aragones was 70 when he handed the job to del Bosque).

And, del Bosque himself has hinted he might stay on a couple of more years if things go well in France next summer.  But, it's an intriguing possibility---the Catalan independence issue might make Pep Guardiola a less attractive candidate, certainly, and Rafa Benitez isn't exactly exciting everyone at Real Madrid.  Marcelino (or Unai Emery) might be a safe, not-Madrid-not-Barcelona option.

The other intriguing plot line is that Fox Sports in Argentina has reported Rodolfo Arruabarrena could be offered the Villarreal job. That is unlikely unless Marcelino leaves of his own accord, but "El Vasco" has been in Vila-real a couple of times this fall apparently.  A former player, now coaching Boca Juniors, it would make sense that he could be interested in moving back to Europe.  We shall see what transpires in the coming months!