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No contact over Argentina job, insists Sampaoli

Madrid (AFP) – Sevilla boss Jorge Sampaoli insisted on Saturday he has not been approached to take over Argentina.

However, Sampaoli refused to quash rumours over his future after sporting director Monchi announced he will leave the club at the end of the season.

“I am only focused on the game on Sunday against Sporting (Gijon) and it’s something that they have to resolve in Argentina,” said Sampaoli.

“I have had no contact on this subject.”

Argentina are struggling to qualify for next year’s World Cup in Russia after a 2-0 defeat to Bolivia on Tuesday left them fifth in South American qualifying.

Fifth place would only be good enough for a playoff against the winner of the Oceania section and the two-time world champions will be without Lionel Messi for three of their remaining four qualifiers due to suspension.

Reports in Argentina suggest coach Edgardo Bauza will be sacked in the coming days with Sampaoli being lined up to take over at the end of the season.

“It’s unfair on everyone because there’s a coach working there and I haven’t spoken to anybody,” added Sampaoli.

Samapoli had also been linked strongly with the Barcelona job once Luis Enrique steps down at the end of the season.

And he refused to confirm that he will remain at Sevilla next season after highly respected sporting director Monchi brought an end to his 17-year stint in the role this week.

“We will see how the project looks going forward,” said Sampaoli.

“He (Monchi) has promised me a meeting to see if I can help or not in the future.”

Despite a recent dip that saw Sevilla crash out of the Champions League last 16 to Leicester City and fall out of contention for the La Liga title, Sampaoli has still enjoyed a largely successful debut season in European club management.

And he wants his ambitions to be matched if he is to remain at the Sanchez Pizjuan.

“If in the first year we had the chance to fight for things, the idea is that the second year is much better.”

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