Club Atlas are in talks with European heavyweights Manchester City and Barcelona about forming sporting partnerships, with a former Pep Guardiola player at the heart of discussions, Mediatempo reports.
Rafael Márquez, who played for Barcelona from 2003 and 2010 and thus played there during the golden era under Guardiola, is the club president of Atlas and is using his connections to Barcelona and Pep Guardiola to explore new working agreements.
The relationships, should they be formalised, would see players go to and from Atlas and either or both Manchester City and Barcelona, in an attempt to raise the standard and profile of the Liga MX club while giving the European clubs access to the Mexican football scene.
Márquez is well regarded at Barcelona, while his connection to Guardiola means City could look favourably at such an agreement if they receive Pep’s recommendation.
The City Football Group has hubs all over the world, with the club closest to Mexico being New York City FC in the USA, but should a partnership be agreed with Atlas, it would give them more access to another footballing hotbed.