Roberto Martinez has reportedly emerged as a contender for the vacant Portugal job, despite overseeing Belgium’s disappointing World Cup campaign in Qatar.
Martinez has been ‘on the radar’ of the Portuguese Football Federation as they search for a new head coach, the Telegraph reported.
The Spaniard could be forced to decide between a return to club management or whether to stick with international football.
Roberto Martinez (pictured) is reportedly a contender for the vacant Portugal manager role
Martinez’s contract with Belgium officially concluded at the end of December, following six years in the role.
During his time as Belgium’s national coach, Martinez led the nation to their best World Cup finish, placing third in Russia in 2018.
Belgium suffered a quarter-final exit at Euro 2020 to eventual champions Italy, before leading the team at the World Cup in Qatar.
Martinez presided over a disappointing campaign with Belgium crashing out in the group stages, despite heading into the tournament as the second highest ranked team in the world by FIFA.
Martinez left his role as Belgium head coach following their disappointing World Cup in Qatar
Belgium’s World Cup campaign in Qatar was dominated by claims of splits within the camp
The campaign had been dominated by reports of tension within the camp, after Kevin De Bruyne suggested his side were ‘too old’ to go the distance.
Defender Jan Vertonghen had appeared to hit back at the comment after the loss to Morocco, claiming ‘We probably also attack badly because we are too old, that must be it now, surely?’
Martinez last month hit back at claims of splits within the squad, when revealing he had informed the players of his decision to leave after the tournament prior to their final group stage match against Croatia.
Despite boasting a series of star names, and poor performances on the field led to an embarrassing early exit for a highly fancied side.
Fernando Santos was removed from his post following Portugal’s quarter-final exit to Morocco
Martinez has been viewed by some as having underachieved with his tenure coinciding with a so-called ‘golden generation’ of Belgian talent.
Since taking the job, the likes of Kevin de Bruyne, Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Dries Mertens, Thibaut Courtois and Thomas Meunier have all been in their prime and featured heavily.
Martinez claimed last month that he wanted to rest with his family before deciding on his next steps, but admitted he would be open to talks from January.
The 49-year-old has admitted he has specific plans, when asked about a return to club or national team management.
Martinez last coached a club side when in charge of Everton, having previously at Wigan and Swansea in the Premier League.
Since leaving the Belgium job, Martinez had been linked with the Club Brugge job which has since been taken by Scott Parker, as well as international roles with Mexico and Poland.
A return to Everton has also been mooted, should the struggling Premier League side sack under-pressure boss Frank Lampard.
Martinez has been linked with several roles since leaving the Belgium post last month
Portugal are among the nation’s seeking a new manager following the World Cup after parting ways with Fernando Santos, ending an eight-year stint with the national team that saw him win Euro 2016 and the Nations League in 2019.
However, following Portugal’s quarter-final exit to Morocco and his decision to bench captain Cristiano Ronaldo for both knockout games, the Portuguese called time on his spell in charge.
Jose Mourinho, Andre Villas-Boas and Paulo Fonseca have been linked with the job.
Roma boss Jose Mourinho (pictured) has been linked with the job among many other bosses
Should Portugal opt for Martinez as Santos’ successor it would represent a departure from their usual approach of appointing homegrown or Brazilian coaches.
Brazil’s Otto Gloria and Luiz Felipe Scolari are the only non-Portuguese coaches to have held the role.
The Belgian FA are seeking Martinez’s successor, with the organisation having posted an advert for his successor.
The advert said the FA wants to hire a coach who is ‘extremely ambitious’ and has ‘experience in managing top players’.
Martinez’s assistant coach Thierry Henry has reportedly told the Belgian FA that he wants to succeed him as the national team’s head coach.