No Argentina approach for Jorge Sampaoli - Sevilla chief Jose Castro
Sevilla president Jose Castro says the Argentina Football Association (AFA) has not made an official approach for Jorge Sampaoli.
Ole newspaper reported on Tuesday that AFA president Claudio Tapia and Marcelo Tinelli, head of Argentina's national teams committee, were to travel to Spain to meet with Sampaoli.
The AFA, with the Albiceleste struggling to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, announced the dismissal of national team coach Edgardo Bauza on Monday and Sampaoli reportedly is the top candidate to replace him.
Castro told Sevilla's official website on Tuesday: "We are not officially aware that the AFA is coming for Sampaoli.
"He [Sampaoli] always says that he has received calls and that he has offers but that he is happy at Sevilla and we are happy with him."
The former national team coach of Chile, Sampaoli has reportedly been offered the national team coaching jobs of Qatar and Netherlands.
Sevilla, who appointed Sampaoli last summer, have offered him a one-year contract extension, with his current deal expiring in June 2018. Sampaoli can leave Sevilla this summer provided his €1.5 million release clause is met.
"He [Sampaoli] has a clause, just as all the other professionals have, but there's nothing more," Castro said.
Castro added that he is not concerned by reports suggesting Sampaoli will become the next Argentina manager.
"I cannot avoid those," he said. "I was with Jorge yesterday and we spoke about the team.
"It feels as though La Liga has finished but there is still some way to go and we have to achieve a very important aim for us.
"I'm not worried, the only thing that concerns me is the present, and the game [against Valencia] at the Mestalla ...
"To talk about the future doesn't seem logical at a time when we are playing for so much.
"I'm only and exclusively thinking about our seven games remaining to culminate a season that has been a very good one."
Sevilla are fourth in the standings, one point adrift of third-place Atletico, who hold the last direct Champions League qualifying spot.
"We want to finish third and we're going to try and get as many points as possible," Castro said.
Marca claims that Sampaoli is eager to guide Argentina and will take on the role, having turned down the opportunity to coach them in August when he was offered the job.
However, Ole recently reported that Sampaoli will only agree to guide the national team if he is given a contract to run until the 2022 World Cup.
According to the publication, AFA will also hold talks in Spain with Diego Simeone although the Atletico Madrid coach, who is tied to Atletico for another season, has already stated that his time to guide the national team is not now.
Argentina are fifth in their South American qualifying group for the World Cup. Only the top four sides will qualify directly for the tournament that is to be staged in Russia.
They play at Uruguay on Aug. 31 in a World Cup qualifier.
Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.