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By ESPN Staff

Sanchez aims to persuade Castillo to play for Mexico

MEXICO CITY, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Mexico coach Hugo Sanchez said on Tuesday he was hopeful of winning the battle with Uruguay to secure the services of Olympiakos Piraeus striker Nery Castillo.

Castillo, 22, was born in Mexico of Uruguayan parents and raised in Uruguay where he began his career with Danubio as a 15-year-old. He moved to Greece one year later to join Olympiakos.

'We're confident... he will accept the invitation and join the squad,' Sanchez told reporters on Tuesday on his second day of training the team.

'Nery fits in well, because he's fast and he's a player with a goalscoring instinct,' added Sanchez. 'I'm counting on him.'

Mexico and Uruguay both tried to persuade Castillo to play for them two years ago but the player said he needed more time to decide on his choice.

Sanchez, who has brought 26 players together for a training camp, is due to name his squad next week for his first match in charge, away to the United States on Feb. 7.

Sanchez, widely regarded as the finest player Mexico has produced, was appointed coach in November after years of lobbying for the job.

He previously coached Mexico City club Pumas UNAM, where he won two successive Mexican titles, and provincial club Necaxa.