Sampaoli leaves Marseille amid disputes with club bosses

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MARSEILLE, France, July 1 — Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli said on Friday he left Marseille over differences with the club’s hierarchy after bringing them back to the Champions League.

Sampaoli, 62, arrived at the Stade Vélodrome in March 2021 and propelled Marseille to second in Ligue 1 last season.

In May, colorful former Argentina and Sevilla boss Sampaoli, who led Chile to the 2015 Copa America title, said he needed extra funds to make the most of the competition in the best tournament in Europe.

On Friday, Sampaoli said in an Instagram post that his view of the club’s future was “different” from that of the leaders.

“My pace and my goals are not the same as those of the club leaders,” he said.

“Last season was amazing. Coaching this club has been a pleasure for me. I was very happy.”

Earlier, Marseille said in a statement that the split was done by mutual agreement.

“After 16 months of collaboration, this work has enabled the club to take a new step in its new sporting project and qualify directly for the Champions League,” the statement said.

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“We are satisfied with the progress made and the emotions shared but after careful consideration, the two parties, who act in the interests of Marseille, have agreed to put an end to this relationship.”

Marseille signed Spartak Moscow centre-back Samuel Gigot and teenager Isaak Toure, ahead of their first appearance in the competition since 2020, when they won just one group match.

But the players are also gone.

French defensive midfielder Boubacar Kamara has joined Aston Villa on a free transfer. Defender William Saliba is back at Arsenal after his loan spell.

Roberto De Zerbi, who was in charge of Shakhtar Donetsk until Russia invaded Ukraine, has been linked with Sampaoli’s replacement, but the club refused to confirm the reports.

“We have clear ideas and discussions with the candidates,” Marseille President Pablo Longoria told reporters on Friday.

“We have a candidate in mind, who is our priority.

“Our goal is to have it by the end of the week,” he added.

Marseille start their new Ligue 1 season on the weekend of August 5-7 at home against Reims.

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