Jorge Sampaoli on Sevilla future: My contract allows me to stay or leave
Sevilla boss Jorge Sampaoli said he'll meet with club president Jose Castro to discuss his future amid reports linking him with the Argentina coaching post and the vacant Netherlands job.
Sampaoli is the leading candidate to replace Edgardo Bauza if the latter is dismissed as Argentina coach, La Nacion has reported.
Bauza is under pressure with Argentina struggling to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. They are fifth in their South American group with four games remaining and only the top four will qualify directly for the tournament.
"I have a contract with the club and I don't have to clarify anything," Sampaoli said in Friday's news conference at Sevilla. "It's a contract that has a lot of clauses in the club's and my favour and that allow me to stay or leave.
"That is why I will meet with the president to see if it is convenient for everyone to drag out this process or not. I have grown very fond of the club but only time will tell."
Sampaoli joined Sevilla last summer and is under contract with the Andalusian club until June 2018.
However, he can leave the Spanish Primera Division club this summer if he pays a €1.5 million release clause.
Sevilla president Jose Castro has expressed the hope that Sampaoli would remain but did say this week: "I would not consider it a failure at all if he didn't continue."
"It's probably media speculation as I'm not aware of this [Netherlands' interest]," Sampaoli said. "I haven't had any conversations.
"But if it's true that the Netherlands national team is interested in me, I'm happy with that."
Sampaoli said his only focus right now is on helping his team get back on track. After a performance for most of the season, Sevilla were eliminated by Leicester City from the Champions League in the round of 16 and have since fallen to fourth place in La Liga.
Sevilla have not won since March 2 and Wednesday's 3-0 defeat at Barcelona left the team three points adrift of Atletico Madrid, who are third and hold the last direct Champions League qualifying spot.
"Right now, I'm only thinking about the game and changing the bad stretch that we are experiencing," he said. "For me, the season starts now with the enthusiasm of rediscovering our winning path."
Sampaoli, the former national team coach of Chile, hardly took a misstep earlier this season. Sevilla had looked to be strong contenders for the title, having reached a club-record 42 points by the halfway stage to sit one point behind Real Madrid in January.
"Our intention is to find the path that allowed us to be competitive against anyone and maintain ourselves close to two teams [Barcelona and Real Madrid] that are historically unreachable," Sampaoli said.
"I hope that we can put Sevilla in the place it deserves and that we don't throw away in the space of 20 days what we had achieved in eight months."
Sevilla host Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday.
Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.