La Liga: Sevilla boss Jorge Sampaoli says he cannot turn down opportunity to coach Argentina
Sevilla head coach Jorge Sampaoli on Friday said he can't turn down the chance to coach Argentina and he has a few clauses in his contract that allow him to leave the Spanish football club – which will be taken care of by the Argentine football association and the club.
Seville: Sevilla head coach Jorge Sampaoli on Friday said he can't turn down the chance to coach Argentina and he has a few clauses in his contract that allow him to leave the Spanish football club – which will be taken care of by the Argentine football association and the club.
"My contract with the club has a few clauses enabling me to leave. There is a clear intention on the part of my country to have me as their manager and I have wanted this opportunity from a young age. It's an opportunity that I turned down when I took over at Sevilla in pre-season but is still there," Sampaoli said at a news conference, as posted on Sevilla's website.
"I feel that I would only stop my career – and everything that I've done to become a manager in one of the best leagues – to go and manage Argentina. It's something that I can't turn down now. But the president is in charge of this, there's a contract to respect and nothing has been resolved yet. That said, my contract has a few clauses that allow me to leave," he added.
Argentina fired head coach Edgardo Bauza in April after just eight games in charge which saw a floundering 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign so far. At the fifth spot in their World Cup qualifying group and, with just four matches left to play, Argentina are at risk of missing out on the Russia meet.
Sampaoli has reportedly a release clause of 1.5 million euros.
"The matter of the contract has to be cleared up between the club and the (Argentina) Federation. In the last meeting I had with the president I conveyed that I was keen to manage the match on Saturday, that there was no chance of me not doing that.
"Now if they reach an understanding it has to be between them, AFA and Club, it's something I want to be settled without breaks, it's important for me that there's understanding on both sides."
He denied that he had selected an Argentina squad. "To give them that squad I have to have authorisation from my club, Sevilla FC, over and above the fact that the media speculation might say I've acted in secret. I haven't needed that, I've acted with full clarity and transparency with the club for the whole year," he clarified.
But Sampaoli insisted that his mind was on Saturday's game against Osasuna, who are already relegated, before giving his verdict on the 2016/17 campaign.
"There's one game left and it's as important as the first," he said, according to Sevilla's website.
"Our goal was to exceed 70 points and we're hopeful of doing that. For me, to assess ourselves on a personal level and as a group, we've spent a year competing at the top among the best teams in La Liga.
"We were there against Lyon, Juventus, we were knocked out unfairly against Leicester when we deserved to go through (in the Champions League). We've averaged 1.7 goals per game. The sporting project has been good, the team had an identity in the way they played which the Sevilla fans appreciated. All of this filled us with hope and expectation over the course of 12 months.
"We got a new team organised, we competed against strong teams, the best sporting director in the club's history left and not even that stopped the team from carrying on fighting."
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
What to watch in European football today: Leicester hoping to spoil Liverpool's record, Milan to test unbeaten run against Napoli
Liverpool have not lost their last 63 league games at home. That matches a club record set in December 1980 which was ended by a defeat to Leicester.
LaLiga: Osasuna come from behind to draw 1-1 with Huesca, keep visitors winless since return to top-flight
Osasuna came from behind to draw with Huesca 1-1 on Friday, keeping the visitors winless since their return to the Spanish league.
LaLiga: Barcelona's salary cap for 2020-21 season slashed by $350 million amidst ongoing COVID-19 pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic has had huge economic effects on Spain's top-flight teams, with Barca among those worst affected.