May 26, 2017 / 1:21 PM / 3 years ago

Sevilla agree to let Sampaoli take over as Argentina coach

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Sevilla coach Jorge Sampaoli is leaving the Spanish club a year before his contract expires to take up the vacant Argentina national team job, Sevilla said on Friday.

Football Soccer - Real Madrid v Sevilla - Spanish Liga Santander - Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain - 14/5/17. Sevilla coach Jorge Sampaoli Reuters / Sergio Perez/Files

Sevilla said the agreement rested on the drawing up and presentation of relevant documents, which should be signed by both parties on June 1.

Argentine soccer association (AFA) representatives have agreed to the rescission clause in Sampaoli’s contract, which local media reported to be 1.5 million euros ($1.68 million).

“In the conversations between Sevilla and the AFA, which has acted as Jorge Sampaoli’s representative, the quantity of the rescission clause in the coach’s contract was not debated at any moment,” Sevilla said in a statement.

“All parties are satisfied with the agreement.”

Sampaoli has taken fourth-placed Sevilla to their highest La Liga finish since 2010 during his only season in European soccer after a long career in South America that culminated with him leading Chile to the 2015 Copa America title.

Argentine FA President Claudio Tapia said last month that Sampaoli was the only candidate to succeed Edgardo Bauza who was sacked in April after eight games in charge.

The Argentine oversaw a radical transformation in the style of football played by Sevilla under his predecessor Unai Emery, whose team won the Europa League three years in a row.

Sampaoli’s methods brought impressive results with a record number of points for the first half of a season as they joined traditional heavyweights Barcelona and Real Madrid in a three-way title battle until Sevilla’s bid faded in March.

He steered the club to the last 16 of the Champions League for the first time since 2010, but they went out to surprise English champions Leicester City 3-2 on aggregate after failing to take their chances in a one-sided first leg.

Champions League elimination coincided with a general downturn in results as Sevilla won only three of 13 games in all competitions to surrender third place in La Liga to Atletico Madrid.

Eduardo Berizzo, who like Sampaoli is a devotee of an intense high-pressing attacking style of play, is the leading candidate to take over at Sevilla after leaving Celta Vigo at the end of the last campaign.

Another period of change is expected at the Andalusian club, who in March parted ways with long-time sporting director and transfer guru Ramon Rodriguez “Monchi” who ended his 17-year tenure to take up the same post at AS Roma.

($1 = 0.8925 euros)

Editing by Ken Ferris and Ed Osmond

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