Jorge Sampaoli: I will not abandon Universidad de Chile during the season

The Argentine trainer has declared that he has no intentions of leaving the Chilean giants midway through the current campaign, although stated he is honoured to be sought after

By Andres Roman

Universidad de Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli has promised the club's supporters he will not abandon the side during the season amidst talk of a potential move to his homeland Argentina or Brazil.

The U qualified for the Copa Libertadores quarter-finals this week after overturning a 4-1 first leg deficit to Deportivo Quito, winning the second meeting 6-0.

Sampaoli has impressed since joining the club in 2011, winning last season's Copa Sudamericana as well as the Apertura and Clausura national championships. His side is currently leading the 2012 Apertura. His achievements have not gone unnoticed, as in recent weeks clubs of the stature of Estudiantes and Cruzeiro have been linked with his services.

Despite a flurry of interest in the 52-year-old, he has confirmed he is not planning on leaving the club mid-season, although is honoured to be linked to a move away from the side.

"When talking about my future and proposals for me, it's not my decision. I would not leave the club the middle of a tournament, Copa Libertadores and the local league. Once they are finished I will sit down [with the board] and discuss plans for the next season. Leaving the team midway would be irresponsible," the coach told

Speaking about the interest in him from Argentina and Brazil, Sampaoli declared his pride in being so highly regarded.

"It's a major honour. The truth is that it's not always easy to be considered [for coaching roles] in some countries. For example, in Argentina there is a very closed circle. Club owners tend to seek their ex-players to lead the team. We had good results with O'Higgins in Chile and Emelec in Ecuador, but it's only since the success with Universidad de Chile that I've become more known in my country," he added.

The trainer concluded by speaking of his time so far with Universidad, and how his side were able to pull of their surprise turnaround in the Libertadores versus Deportivo Quito earlier in the week.

"It's very nice to enter the club's history. The key was understanding that in this club you have to come out and play. This group's best quality is that they understand the importance of playing as a team, we knew that to turn around the tie we had to go out and attack as our only option."

The Chilean club will face Libertad of Paraguay in the quarter-finals of the Copa Libertadores with the first leg on May 16.