After weeks of rumors, back-and-forth bickering through the media, and threats of legal action, it appears that Jorge Sampaoli will be Argentina’s new manager, one way or another. That’s according to new Argentina Football Association president TK Tapia, who called the current Sevilla boss his “chosen one” for the high-profile gig.
Speaking to ESPN, Tapia confirmed that he will negotiate with Sevilla over Sampaoli’s exit this summer. The Argentinian manager is under contract through June of 2018, but he has a release clause in his contract that would facilitate his exit this summer, if a €1.5 million release clause is met.
AS in Spain is reporting that Sampaoli will be immediately on his way to the Argentina job following Sevilla’s final La Liga game; they expect that he will be announced as the new albiceleste boss on May 22nd, the day after the Andalusian club wraps up its domestic campaign.
This latest twist in the Sampaoli saga comes just two weeks after Sevilla threatened to take legal action against the AFA for tampering, calling the federation’s public courting “unacceptable” and showing “a lack of respect” for the contract Sampaoli signed last summer, after resigning from the Chile top job–a job that saw him beat his home country and probable future employer in the 2015 Copa America final.
This season, Sampaoli has energized Sevilla to a tie for 3rd in La Liga as of writing, level on points with Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid. With just four games remaining, the battle for the last direct Champions League slot in Spain will seemingly be the fiery coach’s last stand in Spain before trying to fix his home country’s World Cup qualifiers mess. As of now, Argentina is in fifth place in CONMEBOL qualifying, just two points from missing out Russia 2018.