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Page last updated at 14:17 GMT, Friday, 30 July 2010 15:17 UK

Alejandro Sabella in talks to become Argentina coach

Alejandro Sabella
Sabella's success at Estudiantes could see him land the Argentina job

Alejandro Sabella is in talks to succeed Diego Maradona as coach of Argentina, the BBC has learned.

The former Sheffield United midfielder, 59, is currently manager of Buenos Aires club side Estudiantes.

Estudiantes' head of international development Sergio Neveleff confirmed Sabella is talking to the Argentine FA.

"In Argentina, being the national team coach is the most wanted position," he told BBC Sheffield ahead of a Blades v Estudiantes friendly on Sunday.

Asked if the match at Bramall Lane would be the last of Sabella's tenure at Estudiantes, Neverleff said: "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]."

Capped four times for Argentina, Sabella joined Sheffield United in 1978 and also played for Leeds United before returning to South America in 1981.

He assisted former Argentina boss Daniel Passarella in the 1998 World Cup, and the pair also worked together at Italian club Parma as well as at teams in Uruguay, Mexico and Brazil.

Sabella became manager of Estudiantes in 2009 and guided the club to the victory in the Copa Libertadores.

He and Racing Club coach Miguel Angel Russo are reported to be the front-runners to replace Maradona.

The Argentina legend left the job in acrimonious fashion earlier this week following his team's quarter-finals exit from the World Cup after a 4-0 thrashing by Germany.

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see also
Maradona hits out at 'betrayal'
28 Jul 10 |  Football
Maradona's Argentina reign ends
27 Jul 10 |  Football
How Maradona inspired a nation
01 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Sad Maradona considering future
04 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010

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