Diego Maradona is close to taking charge of Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata, according to the Argentina icon’s lawyer.Maradona has been out of work since leaving Ascenso MX side Dorados in June due to health reasons after undergoing surgery on his knee and shoulder.Superliga strugglers Gimnasia are bottom of the table after taking a single point from five matches this term. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Earlier this week, manager Dario Ortiz resigned his position after the club’s poor start to the season.Gimnasia could soon have a high-profile replacement for Ortiz, with Maradona’s lawyer saying that his legendary client is closing in on the position.”He’s very happy,” Maradona’s lawyer Matias Morla said to ESPN. “It’s been a while since he was taken into consideration to coach in Argentine football.”His intention is to lead and that of the president is that he be in charge. The fans sent him love through the [social] networks. We are on a positive path. Only formal procedures remain.”We have to close it quickly because the matches are immediate … [on Thursday] at 11 we will get together. There is an 80 per cent chance.”Earlier on Wednesday, Maradona posted on Instagram that he had not been in contact with anyone at Gimnasia about the position.”I want to clarify that I did not receive or reject any proposal from Argentine teams, as they are saying,” Maradona wrote.”I had no official contact with any club. I am in good health and of course it would be an honour for me to lead in my country.”Maradona joined Dorados in September 2018 and led the club to the final of both the Apertura and Clausura, but lost on both occasions to Atletico San Luis, therefore missing out on promotion to Liga MX.The 58-year-old coached Argentina at the 2010 World Cup, where they reached the quarter-finals before being beaten 4-0 by Germany.Prior to joining Dorados the former forward had spells in charge of Al Wasl and Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates.As a player Maradona led his country to their most-recent World Cup title, as Argentina defeated West Germany 3-2 in the final of the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.
Losing Roberto Firmino would be a bigger blow for Liverpool than seeing Mohamed Salah or Sadio Mane ruled out, claims Jason McAteer.The Reds saw Salah take a knock against Leicester on Saturday, with a robust challenge from Hamza Choudhury forcing the Egyptian from the field.There is now an international break in which to recover, with Salah not called up by Egypt for their latest outings. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career Keeping Salah fit will be crucial to Liverpool’s title challenge, as they now sit eight points clear of defending champions Manchester City, but McAteer says he is not the most important part of a well-oiled attacking machine.The former Reds star told The Racing Post: “People have questioned Liverpool’s strength in depth and I don’t think it’s quite as strong as Manchester City’s, but there is cover in key areas.“Take one of their star players out of the team and inevitably it has an impact – it would at any club. But Jurgen has been able to tweak things and bring in different players and look where they are.“The one player I think is indispensable going forward is Roberto Firmino. Forget Sadio Mane or Mo Salah, it’s Firmino who makes the whole thing tick going forward. I think if Liverpool lost Firmino it would have a bigger impact than losing Mane or Salah.“Look at the Super Cup against Chelsea where Liverpool produced two completely different halves of football, the first without Firmino and the second with him. He’s a more important part of the attacking jigsaw than anyone else.”While proven performers remain integral to Liverpool, the club have produced an exciting crop of academy graduates.They will have important squad roles to play under Jurgen Klopp, with McAteer adding on those coming through the system and a home-grown star already established as a key man: “Some of the current crop of kids look exceptional.“Curtis Jones is coming through and Harvey Elliott, who’s only 16, looks fantastic, Adam Lewis is on the rise and there’s Rhian Brewster, plus others. They could all become first-team regulars and they only need to look at Trent Alexander-Arnold for evidence of that.“Trent was a centre midfielder who wanted to play centre-half and ended up on the right of defence. Nathaniel Clyne got injured and Trent got thrown in at the deep end and started swimming. [Nathaniel] Clyne couldn’t get back in and Trent has now won the Champions League and is probably England’s regular right-back and playing every game for Liverpool. And he’s still only 21.“You need that little bit of luck to get in the first team and then show you can handle the pressure and I’m convinced a few of them will be able to do that.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web