Guillem Balague throws fresh name into Celtic managerial mix

By David Walton

March 1, 2021

Guillem Balague has touted Pep Guardiola’s former number two Domenec Torrent as a potential candidate for the Celtic manager’s job.

Torrent was Guardiola’s assistant at Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Manchester City. However, the veteran coach left the English club back in 2018 to take up the manager’s job at New York City.

The 58-year-old Spaniard has managed eight clubs in his career. Three of those gigs came in the ’90s in Spain’s sixth tier, before he managed to work his way up to Segunda Division B. It was when he was appointed as a data analyst with Barcelona “B” that he came into contact with Guardiola, then the coach at the time.

And in-the-know Spanish journalist Balague believes Torrent taking the reins at Celtic would be a supremely interesting development:

Domenec Torrent certainly outside the box from Guillem Balague; Celtic need something that represents change

It’s more important to look at Torrent’s work away from his spells with Guardiola. Winning 24 trophies in 11 years is sensational, but he would hardly be bringing the Man City boss with him to Parkhead.

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Torrent has been out of work since being sacked by Flamengo in November 2020. That’s only three months after he was appointed. But it’s important to put his sacking in Brazil into context. Flamengo had only just ended their title-duck under now-Benfica boss Jorge Jesus last season. Beforehand they hadn’t won the league since 2009. And they also wrapped up their second-successive title only days ago – Torrent had them on an acceptable track.

Jesus also guided them to their first Copa Libertadores since the early 80s and the Rio de Janeiro state championship. In other words, he became an instant legend. Following on from that was always going to be arduous. But he wasn’t disgracing himself either.

Pep Guardiola with Domenec Torrent (Photo by Laurens Lindhout/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Torrent had qualified for the Copa Libertadores last-16 and was only sitting third in the Brazil Serie A. They were only one point behind Internacional at the top and had only lost twice in 15 games. Those two defeats came back-to-back in his final two matches in charge – a 4-0 hammering off Atletico Mineiro and a 4-1 home loss to Sao Paulo.

His one-year stay with New York City between 2018 and 2019 also reaped major success. He guided them to their record points total during the MLS regular season with a total of 64. He also bagged qualification for the CONCACAF Champions League.

It would be interesting to see what kind of style he adopted if he became an unlikely Celtic appointment. But given he’s known for an aggressive, attacking approach – it could be the kind of outside-the-box move we could do with.

In other news, an English club owner has responded to angry complaints over a controversial Celtic agreement.