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Sabella in Argentina frame

Estudiantes fear coach could replace Maradona with national team

Last Updated: 30/07/10 10:58pm

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Sabella: Argentina interest

Sabella: Argentina interest

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Estudiantes boss Alejandro Sabella has emerged as a contender to replace Diego Maradona as coach of Argentina.

Maradona's contract as coach was not renewed by the Argentina Football Association following the national team's quarter-final exit at the World Cup.

Sabella is understood to have held talks about succeeding the 1986 World Cup winning captain as Estudiantes battle to hang on to their coach.

Speaking ahead of Sunday's friendly against Sheffield United, the club's head of international development Sergio Neveleff said: "In Argentina, being the national team coach is the most wanted position."

Asked if the match at Bramall Lane would be Sabella's last in charge, he replied: "As a fan and a member of the club, I hope not.

"We were confident that Alex would be our manager for a long time, but now we are affected [by the national team situation]."

Sabella won the Copa Libertadores with Estudiantes last year, and has been linked to the Argentina job as has Racing Club coach Miguel Angel Russo.

Sabella played four times for Argentina and the midfielder signed for Sheffield United in 1978 before later joining Leeds.

He was an assistant to Argentina coach Daniel Passarella at the 1998 World Cup finals in France.

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