Jorge Sampaoli sat down with the press at the Ciudad Deportivo on Thursday afternoon to discuss recent speculation linking him with the Argentina national team job and Friday’s fixture against Granada at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán.
The Sevilla manager insists that his thoughts are firmly on the present, and that he has not considered his future beyond the end of the season.
He said: “We have to be very present in a difficult stage, because it’s in the final where lots of things are played for. We are going to have to play very well in the upcoming games which are defining for everyone.
“I know that there is an interest, to deny that would be lying to you, I know that they say that I’m the chosen one, but they will have to wait for a time that suits everyone to do it in a way that doesn’t harm anyone, because to do it now would damage Sevilla and I am not going to let that happen. At the start of the year I had the same opportunity and since I had committed myself to the club and the players and turned down the chance to go to Argentina. This is a time where the team needs to be focused on qualifying for the Champions League. I can’t be a distraction from that.
"They say that I'm the chosen one, but to do it now would be to harm Sevilla and I'm not going to let that happen"
“I am focused on the present and everything that comes with that. I can’t think about the future when there is so much to play for at Sevilla now. I am very calm because I am not going to begin any conversations that are not to do with the games that remain. The truth is that I don’t have the time or ability to manage both things at the same time. I am thinking about the present here at Sevilla and it is something that really excites me, arriving at the stadium and thinking about the supporters and the possibility of qualifying for the Champions League. I don’t have anything else to think about other than that and everything that comes in the future will be seen in the future.”
The 57-year-old was asked about his relationship with Fernando Baredes, to which he responded: “He is someone who I’ve known for a long time, but since I started as a coach he has not had any influence on my contract. If you analyse my contractual situations at the last five clubs that I’ve been at, I’ve managed them myself, I don’t have a representative. I don’t know what meeting you’re talking to me about, I can’t talk about meetings that aren’t my responsibility. I can’t be sure of the meeting; the president of the AFA [Argentine Football Association] denied it. I have managed myself throughout my career; coming to Sevilla was down to a sporting project with Monchi and then arriving here."
"I don't have the time of the ability to do two things at one. I am thinking about the present at Sevilla because that's what excites me"