Sabella presence hangs in the balance

Last updated : 06 August 2010 By Bladesmadeditor


Sunday's match between Sheffield United and the Copa Libertadores champions, Estudiantes, has been overshadowed by the news that Alex Sabella, a former Blades player and the current manager of this weekend's opponents, is in talks with the Argentine Football Association in regards to taking the regins as the new Argentina boss after Diego Maradona's contract was not renewed.

Alejandro Sabella, aged 55, is yet to touch down in England, however, his players and management staff are in Sheffield, in our very Copthorne Hotel. Negotiations between Sabella and the Argentine FA are ongoing, as Estudiantes official Sergio Neveleff revealed:

"At this point he must be very happy to be considered one of the best options for the national team, and the media in Argentina is running crazy looking for a replacement for Maradona.

"We are proud of Alex and he must be proud of what he has achieved in the last year and a half - he has been really successful and should be happy.

"Discussions have taken place. The position of national coach in Argentina is the most wanted position for everybody there, especially for the top coaches doing an amazing job like Alex, and people agree he is the leading candidate as number one choice.

"He is schedule to leave for England today (Friday) and was working with the team on Thursday morning. It is a tough time of the year with the season starting next week, but he asked specially for another flight to be booked for Saturday morning in case anything happens today. But we are hoping to keep Sabella with Estudiantes over the weekend and for a long while.

"Our plan with Alex was to make him like Alex Ferguson but in Argentina. We were confident and now things are affected because of his success, which is working against us.

"We are proud of the situation because Alex is our coach and one of our people, part of the family - he was born in River Plate, but says that is his house and Estudiantes his home."

Even if Sabella was there on Sunday, it's likely to be his last for the club.

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