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Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni: I have not talked to Sergio Aguero about return

Argentina interim head coach Lionel Scaloni quashes claims of a rift with Paulo Dybala after the Juve star started on the bench against Colombia.

Argentina's interim coach Lionel Scaloni says he has not contacted Sergio Aguero to discuss a possible return to the national team despite the Manchester City striker's excellent start to the season.

Aguero, the second leading scorer in the Premier League with five goals, played for Argentina at this summer's World Cup in Russia but did not feature in two friendlies last month: a 3-0 win over Guatemala in Los Angeles and a 0-0 draw with Colombia in New York.

The 30-year-old will not be in the squad for the game against Iraq on Oct. 11, or the clash vs. Brazil five days later, both being played in Saudi Arabia.

Scaloni, who has made a point to call up young players since replacing former coach Jorge Sampaoli, has spoken to veterans Angel Di Maria and Ever Banega to explain his decision not to include them in the squad, yet has not done the same with Aguero.

"I'm not surprised by his [Aguero's] level, it's the same as always," Scaloni told a news conference. "But I have not spoken to him. We want to try for the players that are coming now to give their all, the strikers that we have now have the possibility to prove that they can play for the national team."

Scaloni spoke with Lionel Messi, who has taken a break from the national team after captaining the side to the round of 16 at the World Cup in Russia. However, the Barcelona superstar has not indicated when, or even if, he will play for his country again.

"We only spoke about this call-up," Scaloni said. "We didn't speak about what can happen in the future. We spoke about the present and about how the team played because he always watched everything. We didn't discuss any other issue."

One player from Argentina's World Cup squad that has returned to the squad is Aguero's teammate at City, Nicolas Otamendi. The 30-year-old centre-back was left out of Scaloni's first squad selection but is back with the Albiceleste.

"We've called up Otamendi because we believe he is a valid player to be in the national team," Scaloni added. "We spoke with him and we explained to him what we wanted."

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