Man Utd’s Europa League opponents Sevilla sack boss Jorge Sampaoli
Sevilla have sacked boss Jorge Sampaoli in a bid to stave off LaLiga relegation.
Sunday’s 2-0 defeat to Getafe left them just two points above the bottom three in a congested bottom half of the table and the club have acted in removing the former Argentina and Marseille manager.
Sevilla are due to play Manchester United in the Europa League quarter-finals after the current international break.
“Sevilla FC have today relieved Jorge Sampaoli of his duties,” a statement on their club website read.
“Following the defeat at Getafe, which leaves the side just above the relegation zone, the club have decided to part ways with the Argentine coach ahead of the international break.”
Sampaoli, 63, was previously in charge of Sevilla in 2016-17 and returned to the Andalusian club last October following the sacking of Julen Lopetegui, who has since joined Wolves in the Premier League.
Sevilla had won 13 and lost 12 of their 31 matches under Sampaoli, who guided them to the last eight of the Europa League – a competition they have won a record six times since 2006.
The club statement added: “Sampaoli will no longer lead today’s training session, scheduled for 18.00, while the club is already working on recruiting a new coach as soon as possible.
“Sevilla FC would like to thank Jorge Sampaoli for his dedication and commitment at the club and wish him the best of luck in his future.”
The decision marks another awkward moment in a dismal season for the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan club, who have spent time during this campaign in the bottom three.
While the club are now one point and three places better off than when Sampaoli took over - with just one win to their name at the time - he had spoken of wanting to “reconstruct the team” when he joined, something he has largely been unable to do.
Not all their woes can be laid at the door of successive head coaches though, even after Lopetegui’s poor start.
Sevilla’s summer transfer work left plenty to be desired, with the supposed marquee arrival of Isco going horribly - he was dismissed by Sampaoli soon after his arrival and allowed to leave the club only months after signing.
Big-money signing Marcao suffered a long-term thigh injury in October and hasn’t played since, free transfer signing Adnan Januzaj played twice in LaLiga before being loaned out in January and striker Kasper Dolberg failed to score a single goal before having his loan spell at Sevilla terminated early.
Sevilla’s next crucial league fixtures are against Cadiz, who are level on points with them, mid-table Celta Vigo and Valencia, who are in the bottom three.
Additional reporting by PA