UPDATE (Aug. 2, 3:30 pm ET) – Paulo Fonseca has turned down an offer from Atlanta United to become the club's next head coach, according to a report from The Athletic’s Felipe Cardenas and James Horncastle.

The Portuguese manager's name had emerged as a candidate to take over for the departed Gabriel Heinze in recent days, but will evidently not be joining the Five Stripes based on a follow-up piece from The Athletic that cites multiple sources familiar with the negotiations. Per that reporting, Atlanta offered Fonseca a three-and-a-half-year contract, but the 48-year-old is opting to turn his focus to opportunities in Europe as he evaluates his next move.

In the meantime, Atlanta will continue to be led by interim manager Rob Valentino as they continue their search.

ORIGINAL (July 31, 6 pm ET) – Former AS Roma coach Paulo Fonseca is the first name to emerge as a candidate to become the next Atlanta United coach, with the sides reportedly in advanced talks.

The Athletic’s Felipe Cardenas, citing sources, reports Fonseca toured the club’s training grounds Friday a day after having lunch with Atlanta owner Arthur Blank and president Darren Eales.

That was after Eales and ATLUTD sporting director Carlos Bocanegra were spotted on a flight from Rome to Atlanta last week, three days parting ways with Gabriel Heinze.


Fonseca, who had mixed results with Roma in two years at the helm, was an early favorite to replace Jose Mourinho at Tottenham Hotspur in June, a month after being let go at Roma, before talks broke down.

Fonseca coached various clubs in Portugal, including Porto and Braga before making the move to Shakhtar Donetsk in 2016, leading the club to the Ukrainian double and the Round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League.

Fonseca replaced Claudio Ranieri at Roma and led the club to a fifth-place Serie A finish and a run to the semifinals of the UEFA Europa League in his first season.

Roma finished seventh last season, failing to qualify for the Champions League or the Europa League. It was announced in May that Fonseca was going to leave the club at the conclusion of the year and he was replaced by Mourinho.