Icardi in, Aguero out for Argentina

Posted May 20, 2017

Sevilla manager Jorge Sampaoli has pretty much confirmed that he will be the next coach of the Argentina national team, as expected.

Sampaoli is quoted by ADN Radio: "As an Argentinian, I cannot refuse this possibility even if it breaks a job in Europe that has started very well".

Sampaoli said he rejected the chance to take charge of Argentina past year.

"The issue of the contract must be dealt with by the club and the federation", Sampaoli said.

His task ahead is to make Argentina qualify for the World Cup Russia 2018.

Sampaoli said Friday that his country's soccer body will negotiate with Spanish club Sevilla to secure his release so he can become the national team coach. They have been horribly run and it reached the point that Lionel Messi was paying team security last season.

Argentina are fifth in the South American qualifying group from which the top four qualify automatically and will go into a playoff against a team from the Oceania confederation if they remain there.

FILE - In this November 17, 2015, file photo, Chilean soccer team coach Jorge Sampaoli gestures to his players during a FIFA World Cup qualifying soccer match between Uruguay and Chile in Montevideo.

Inter captain Icardi has been banging on the Argentina door since earning a first cap as a substitute in a World Cup qualifier against Uruguay in 2013, while the uncapped Lanzini has had a fine season in the Premier League. "As an Argentine, I can't turn it down". It's a change linked to my heart for my country. I must respond to the need of my country. Sampaoli had denied such speculation.

But he said: "No one is going to take Sevilla's last game away from me". In the meantime, Sampaoli has Sevilla's final match of the season to manage, and it could be his final match on the Sevilla bench. That will be done after this match against Osasuna, I want to be at [Sunday's game] because we have won the league that we had to win behind the big three (Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid).