Saturday, April 29, 2017

Sampaoli flattered by Netherlands link

SoccerNews in La Liga 7 Apr 2017

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Jorge Sampaoli is flattered by reports linking him with the Netherlands vacancy but insists his immediate priority is getting Sevilla’s season back on track.

Reports in the Dutch media this week have suggested the former Chile boss is a contender to replace Danny Blind in charge of Oranje, but, while flattered, Sampaoli is more interested in reversing a worrying set of results that have seen Sevilla exit the Champions League and slip out of the Liga title race.

He told reporters ahead of Saturday’s home game with Deportivo La Coruna: “No, honestly, I haven’t had any conversations about that [the Netherlands job]. If it’s true that the Dutch national team wants to bring me in as a foreign coach because of the way my teams play then I’ll take it as a compliment but I think it’s just media speculation and nothing more.”

Sampaoli has also been repeatedly linked with Barcelona, who will be looking for a new coach at season’s end when Luis Enrique stands down, and Argentina, where Edgardo Bauza’s future is in serious doubt.

And, although he admitted his contract situation left room for manoeuvre, he reiterated his happiness with life in Seville.

“I’ve got a contract with this club and have nothing to clarify,” he added.

“I have a contract as I’ve already explained that is very flexible and allows me to stay if the club wants or to leave if I want so we have to sit down with the president and see if he wants to extend this process in a way that works for everyone involved.

“We’ll see. I’m very happy where I am. I have a lot of affection for this institution because of the great moments we’ve had and the history we’ve made together but time will tell.

“For now I’m just focused on Saturday’s match and turning this poor run of form around, the future will look after itself.”

Sevilla go into the Depor game without a win in six games in all competitions but Sampaoli remains confident they can still finish strongly.

He said: “What we really want is to get back on the path that made us competitive and kept us so close for so long to two teams that are historically unreachable [Real Madrid and Barcelona].

“That’s where we want to be and wherever we get to at the end will reflect the evolution we’ve gone through over the course of the season.

“I hope Sevilla will finish where they deserve to be and that we don’t lose in 20 days what we’ve won over eight months.

“We’ll work with our very last drop of sweat to get back to the place where we were.

“We need to start getting points back on the board and be aware that many teams are aiming to play in European competitions like the Europa League or Champions League and we have the obligation to overcome their aspirations with our own, putting this club back with a chance to challenge for the Champions League next season.”

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