Sampaoli is the AFA’s firm favourite as there is a serious lack of plan B?
“The candidate the AFA likes most is Sampaoli,” said vice-president Daniel Angelici to the surprise of absolutely no one given that speculation this week that has varied from firm interest in the Sevilla manager to an already done deal.
The AFA have made little secret in the identity their number one target but despite Angelici stating his friendship with Sevilla president Jose Castro, it didn’t prevent the Spanish club hitting out over the pursuit of their man.
Sevilla’s anger at the very public approach and talk of a meeting in Spain with Sampaoli before even enquiring about his availability created unnecessary tension and prompted Sampaoli to deny all contact in a pre-match press conference this week.
“Meeting with the AFA? No, not at all. I wouldn’t meet anyone, not even my brother, before a game,” Sampaoli insisted.
“If you’re asking if I have already said yes to the AFA – that is not true and I can’t talk about something that isn’t real.”
However, despite the denial Claudio Tapia arrived in Spain to speak with Lionel Messi and if growing reports are to be believed has met with Sampaoli’s lawyer Fernando Baredes. It is being widely reported that Sampoli will sign an initial one-year deal but with both parties hopeful that this will be extended until the 2022 World Cup.