Jorge Sampaoli says Argentina wants him as next coach

Icardi's Argentina exile over but Aguero misses out

It is an offer that I would not be able to refuse. 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.

Sampaoli has only been at Sevilla for one season, but he praised the club and said his desire to manage Argentina had nothing to do with what has happened at Sevilla, saying "I don't want any friction with Sevilla, whom I am grateful to". It's something that I can't turn down now.

"Today I can sit down to evaluate and dicuss things, but it's not in my hands because there's a contract that has to be resolved between Sevilla and the AFA".

Emphasising he had yet to sign a contract, he added: "I'd only leave here if it were to go and take over my country".

Bauza only took charge of eight Argentina matches before he was dismissed, as the team sat fifth in the South American qualification system for the 2018 World Cup, with only the top four spots earning an automatic place in Russian Federation.

Sampaoli has reportedly a release clause of 1.5 million euros ($1.67 million).

Atalanta forward Alejandro Gomez, West Ham attacker Manuel Lanzini, Joaquin Correa of Sevilla, Tijuana midfielder Guido Rodriguez and Roma's Leandro Paredes are among the new names included in the Argentina squad. 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. But it only won three of the next 12 matches and is likely to finish in fourth place, good enough for a playoff for the Champions League.

He denied that he had selected an Argentina squad.

"Last summer, I couldn't leave because I had already committed myself to Sevilla and built the squad alongside [former sporting director] Monchi".

"There is a game that is as important as the first".

"Our goal was to exceed 70 points and we're hopeful of doing that".

Now Sampaoli has the chance to show he can mould a team around the world's best player capable of winning a major trophy after Argentina finished runners-up in the 2014 World Cup and the 2015 and 2016 Copa America tournaments.

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