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4 Apr, 2020 10:21

'At risk' Maradona in lockdown at Argentina base but offers to take pay cut due to coronavirus chaos, says Gimnasia boss

'At risk' Maradona in lockdown at Argentina base but offers to take pay cut due to coronavirus chaos, says Gimnasia boss

"At risk" Argentina legend Diego Maradona is dealing with isolation "as best he can" and has offered to take a pay cut in his role as head coach at Superliga strugglers Gimnasia, the club's president has revealed.

The 59-year-old, who has suffered a succession of health problems in recent years, has been in quarantine since top-level football in his homeland was suspended on March 17, putting pressure on clubs trying to pay their wage bills in the absence of gate receipts.

Club president Gabriel Pellegrino said the 1986 World Cup winner had been open to lowering his salary and would be staying indoors under government guidance around the Covid-19 pandemic.

“He was one of the first to say that if we had to review his income we could talk about it,” Pellegrino told Cielosports. "He is very well at home, taking good care of himself because he is at a risk group age. He is taking it as best as he can."

In his first managerial role at an Argentinean club since 1995, Maradona has steered the La Plata-based side away from the bottom of the table since taking over in September.

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Gimnasia waited until October to earn their first league victory but have won seven times under Maradona’s guidance, rising to sixth from bottom and suffering their only loss in their last five matches in a defeat by the only goal of the game at table toppers Boca Juniors, where the striker finished his playing career in 1997.

Pellegrino, whose re-election as president in December was supported by Maradona, suggested that discussions over contract extensions for the managerial team could begin once Gimnasia’s safety in the division had been secured.

“Maradona is not looking at the date of the contract,” he said of the coach’s current deal until August.

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“It is not only feasible, but he is willing to come to stay. This conversation is not a priority for us because it is not a priority for the coaching staff either. There's nothing to chat about now, and it's not going to be difficult when the time comes.

“He wants to come to train and is ready to return when [the quarantine] ends. It is very far from all that.”