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Argentina have tough WCQ test after Bauza

Five Aside
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Diego Simeone or Mauricio Pochettino best for Argentina - Claudio Caniggia

Shaka Hislop feels Bauza's sacking was a long time coming, but will this turn things around for lacklustre Argentina?

Claudio Caniggia has told ESPN FC Radio he would like to see either Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone or Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino take over as the new boss of Argentina.

Ex-Argentina striker Caniggia said he believed the two were the outstanding candidates to take over from the sacked Edgardo Bauza, but added that financial realities meant neither was likely to be appointed.

Sevilla coach Jorge Sampaoli, a former boss of Chile, is favourite to succeed Bauza.

"Sampaoli has not been chosen yet, and I believe there are other coaches who for sure have much bigger names," Caniggia said. "But it seems that they do not want to take on the Argentina job.

"If you ask me to name a few coaches who has achieved things in Europe in recent years, I would say Simeone or Pochettino. They are two candidates who have achieved a lot.

"Sampaoli achieved things in Chile and is doing well with Sevilla, but they were also going well with their previous coach.

"Of course Sampaoli is a valid choice, although I think those others have done a lot more."

Reports in Spain this week claimed the Argentinian FA had considered approaching Simeone, a former captain of the country, who has a €20 million release clause in his Atletico contract.

And Caniggia said it was difficult for Argentina's troubled federation to afford the top candidates.

"The best coaches... it is very difficult for them to leave their club to take on the Argentina national job," he added.

"In Europe they earn a fortune. I do not know what they would earn at Argentina. I believe [former national coach] Tata Martino is still owed money, in fact.

"It is a bit ugly to say it, but a coach over there, like Simeone or Pochettino, earning a fortune, it is very difficult for them to leave to take over Argentina."

Before Bauza was appointed last summer, Simeone floated the idea of coaching the Argentina team part time, a solution meaning leading coaches could combine roles with club and country.

Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan

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