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Sabella expected to take Argentina job

Former Estudiantes boss Alejandro Sabella now appears to be the forerunner to take over as Argentina boss.

Argentina sack Batista
Argentina dumped out of Copa America

The Argentinian Football Association (AFA) dismissed Sergio Batista after the dismal showing on home turf at this month's Copa America as the team struggled through the group stage before being eliminated by eventual winners Uruguay in the quarter-finals.

Carlos Bianchi, 62, had been considered among the forerunners for the position. Having secured great success with Velez Sarsfield and Boca Juniors during his managerial career, he is thought to have the backing of many fans in the country, and he has expressed his desire to take on the role.

"My wishes to coach the Argentina national team are always the same and very big," he told news agency Telam on Tuesday. "I think I have earned enough credit. The future will tell if I can have that honour."

However, AFA spokesman Ernesto Cherquis Bialo has indicated that Bianchi is unlikely to be named Batista's successor.

"He has a lot of experience and he has had a lot of success, but at this time, I do not know that his profile is what we are looking for," he said.

News agency AFP believes Sabella, 56, is now the leading candidate for the position. He led Estudiantes to the Copa Libertadores title in 2009 but announced his resignation in February despite protestations from the players and club.

He was then due to take charge of UAE champions Al Jazira, but their team manager, Ayed Mabkhout, has revealed Sabella looks to have backed out of the agreement.

"It is still not official, but it doesn't look like he's going to come here now," Mabkhout told Sport360. "I think 90% he will not be coach of Al Jazira next season."

Argentinean newspaper La Prensa reports that Sabella "postponed his trip to the UAE to take on the job at Al Jazira because he has received a message from the FA".

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