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Sevilla warn Argentine Football Association off Jorge Sampaoli

Sevilla have put the Argentine Football Association (AFA) on notice that they are not allowed to approach their coach Jorge Sampaoli about the national team vacancy.

AFA president Claudio Tapia told La Tercera that Sampaoli is the main candidate to replace Edgardo Bauza, who was dismissed as coach this week after eight months in charge following Argentina's poor results in World Cup qualifying.

Tapia also said that he was going to meet former Chile boss Sampaoli, who hails from Argentina, this weekend in Valencia ahead of Sevilla's La Liga encounter at the Mestalla.

A Sevilla statement read: "In view of reports emerging in several local and international media regarding a possible interest of AFA to hire as national team coach Jorge Sampaoli -- who is under contract with Sevilla FC until June 30, 2018 -- and regarding the comments attributed to the AFA president Claudio Tapia regarding his intention to have a meeting with the Sevilla coach in the next few days, Sevilla FC has issued a letter to AFA stating that in the event that such information is true, Sevilla would consider it unacceptable and a lack of respect [if there was] any meeting or contact destined to make the coach breach his contract with the club and hence it would no doubt defend its rights."

Sevilla, who appointed Sampaoli last summer, have offered him a one-year contract extension, with his current deal expiring in June 2018.

Sampaoli, who this week said that he wants to manage in the Premier League, can leave Sevilla this summer provided his €1.5 million release clause is met.

Argentina are fifth in their South American World Cup qualifying group, with only the top four sides to qualify directly for the next year's tournament in Russia. They next play against Uruguay on Aug. 31.

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

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