Funes Mori to play Copa América and Olympics as Martino discusses options


Gerardo Martino has revealed that he has already spoken with Everton manager Roberto Martínez regarding defender Ramiro Funes Mori playing for Argentina at both the Copa América and the Olympics this summer. No other player was confirmed by Martino but he hinted at trying to make a similar deal with Atlético Madrid for Matías Kranevitter and confirmed that Gerónimo Rulli would certainly be involved in one or the other. Additionally, the Argentina coach said that for his Olympic attack, he must choose two from Paulo Dybala, Luciano Vietto, Mauro Icardi and Jonathan Calleri.

Speaking on Radio Continental, Martino confirmed that Ramiro Funes Mori was central to his plans this summer: “We are thinking about (Ramiro) Funes Mori for the Games (Olympic). We have to see if Everton will allow this but we wish that he plays in the two competitions.”

With the Copa América Centenario in June and the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in August the 53-year-old added, “We spoke with Roberto Martínez and it’s a possibility.”

The Olympic tournament runs until August 20th so it is unlikely that many European clubs would be pleased with the thought of their players returning late for the start of the season having missed an entire preseason and playing at two major tournaments but it would appear that is what Martino will be requesting.

It would seem that Martino has also spoken with Atlético Madrid to enquire if young midfielder Matías Kranevitter could also be be included in both squads. Speaking on the subject of the former River Plate player, Martino said, “it is the same condition (as Funes Mori). I have had talks with Diego Simeone.”

The third name who had already been linked with Martino’s Olympic squad was Real Sociedad goalkeeper Gerónimo Rulli but the 23-year-old will go to either the USA or Brazil and not both: “He is going to the Olympics, he will not go to the Copa América or vice versa.”

Given the Olympic squad is only made of eighteen, Martino also has selection headaches in attack and he admitted: “There is (Paulo) Dybala, (Luciano) Vietto, (Mauro) Icardi and (Jonathan) Calleri. The fight is difficult because only two will be selected.”

In addition, Martino hinted that a striker from the Argentine Primera could push for a place and name checked Huracán’s Ramón Ábila, Rosario Central’s Marco Ruben, River Plate’s Lucas Alario and Racing’s Gustavo Bou.

The other player to be mentioned by Martino was Empoli midfielder, Leandro Paredes. “We are watching Paredes. He is playing as a unique number five with Empoli and is under consideration.”

Finally, Martino noted that he has a list for his under-23 Olympic players “but that will be more certain within a month.” Expressing some regret that matters were not better organised already, Martino stated that they are thinking to “resolve the issue as soon as possible.” 

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