Jorge Sampaoli will stay on as coach of Copa America winners Chile until the 2018 World Cup despite hinting he might seek a new challenge, the Chilean Federation president declared on Monday.
“Sampaoli is not going. The continuity of the coach until the 2018 World Cup in Russia is assured,” Sergio Jadue told national television.
“There is an agreement with Jorge. This matter is closed.”
Jadue’s comments came after Sampaoli hinted at a possible departure in the wake of Chile’s historic win over Argentina in the Copa America final.
Though he has a deal with Chile until the 2018 World Cup finals, the Argentine told sports daily Marca that it could be too difficult to better their achievement in defeating his native country 4-1 on penalties after Saturday’s final ended goalless.
“I have a contract but we have to look at the situation and see what happens,” the 55-year-old Sampaoli was quoted as saying.
Sampaoli said he was studying with his coaching staff “whether this can be improved on, whether we can continue to be useful.”
Sampaoli and his all-Argentine coaching team have transformed Chile since arriving in late 2012 as the country struggled in qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.
They qualified and eventually lost only on penalties to hosts Brazil in the last 16.
Winning the Copa America was Sampaoli’s crowning triumph and there are now rumours that he would like to coach a European club.
“We have to look at all this calmly. There is an existing contract. Soon you will see everything,” he said.
He added that it would not be easy to start at a European team now that most clubs have already begun their pre-season preparations.