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Argentina reach agreement with Sevilla over Jorge Sampaoli appointment

Sevilla have reached a preliminary agreement with the Argentina Football Association (AFA) to release Jorge Sampaoli from his contract, the Spanish club announced on Friday.

Sampaoli is set to be the replacement for sacked Argentina boss Edgardo Bauza but his contract with Sevilla does not end until June 2018.

The 57-year-old can leave Sevilla this summer, however, provided his €1.5 million release clause is paid.

A statement from Sevilla read: "Sevilla and the Argentina Football Association (AFA) have reached a preliminary agreement for coach Jorge Sampaoli to separate from the Nervion club in order to become the Argentina national team coach.

"That initial agreement is pending on the drafting and presentation of the necessary documents that must be signed by the parties on Thursday, June 1.

"In the conversations between Sevilla FC and the AFA, who have acted as Jorge Sampaoli's representative, at no time has there been a discussion about the fixed release clause that is set in the coach's contract.

"All parties are satisfied with the agreement reached."

AFA president Claudio "Chiqui" Tapia confirmed on Friday that "the Sampaoli era is beginning for Argentina." 

He told reporters that a confidentiality clause prevents him from speaking about the terms agreed to regarding the coach's release clause. 

Sevilla president Jose Castro reiterated on Friday that his club would not accept a reduction in the release clause.

He said on the club's official website: "I respect the AFA but the only thing that we have on our mind is the complete clause -- €1.5m is €1.5m."

Sampaoli said last week he could not "turn down" again the opportunity to coach his native Argentina.

The former Chile coach was offered the job last August shortly after taking the helm of Sevilla but decided to remain in charge of the club.

Sampaoli arrived in Argentina on Thursday and will reportedly be unveiled as the new Albiceleste coach on June 1.

Under Sampaoli, Sevilla finished fourth in La Liga and sealed a place in Champions League qualifying for the 2017-18 campaign.

Argentina have been without a coach since they dismissed Bauza on April 10 after eight months in charge with the Albiceleste's 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign in jeopardy.

The AFA recently named a squad of players competing abroad for next month's international friendlies but are keen to tie Sampaoli as soon as possible.

Argentina take on Brazil in Melbourne on June 9 and they play at Singapore a week later.

Argentina, fifth in their South American qualifying group for the World Cup, resume their qualifying campaign at Uruguay on Aug. 31. Only the top four sides will qualify directly for the tournament in Russia.

Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.

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