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Sampaoli close to joining Marseille after quitting Atletico Mineiro

Sao Paulo (AFP) – Jorge Sampaoli is in “advanced talks” about becoming the next coach of Marseille, a source told AFP on Tuesday, after the former Argentina boss earlier confirmed his departure from Brazilian side Atletico Mineiro.

“Talks are advanced but nothing is at all finalised,” a source close to Sampaoli told AFP. “There are a few details to sort out but I think it will happen.”

Sampaoli, 60, revealed in a letter released by his adviser that he was quitting Belo Horizonte club Atletico after a year in charge.

“I have come to the end. This Thursday will be the last match,” Sampaoli wrote in the five-paragraph missive.

“I am left with regret for not having been able to lead (the team) with a full stadium.”

Sampaoli had coached the club during the coronavirus pandemic, with matches played in empty stadiums.

French sports daily L’Equipe reported that Sampaoli will sign a contract until 2023 at Marseille as the successor to Andre Villas-Boas, who was officially suspended by last season’s Ligue 1 runners-up earlier this month.

Villas-Boas had said he wished to resign in anger after the former Champions League winners signed midfielder Olivier Ntcham on loan from Celtic against his wishes. The suspension is the first step in the legal process of sacking the Portuguese.

Atletico Mineiro are third in the Brazilian league before Sampaoli’s final game in charge at home to Palmeiras.

They can no longer win the title but they have secured qualification for the group stage of the next Copa Libertadores.

Sampaoli won the Copa America with Chile in 2015 and oversaw Argentina’s disappointing 2018 World Cup campaign.

In between he spent a season in Spain in charge of Sevilla. He spent a year at Santos before joining Atletico in March last year.

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