Argentina fail with Guardiola move but prepare to switch focus to Simeone & Pochettino

Pep Guardiola Manchester City Community Shield 2018
Clive Mason
The Albiceleste were eager to appoint the Manchester City boss as successor to Jorge Sampaoli, but were quickly priced out of an approach

Pep Guardiola was approached by the Argentinean FA regarding their vacant managerial post, but the Manchester City manager proved far too costly for the South American nation.

On the back of a disappointing showing at World Cup 2018 which delivered a last-16 exit, Jorge Sampaoli agreed to a parting of ways with the Albiceleste.

His departure has left a high-profile post up for grabs, with Pablo Aimar and Lionel Scaloni currently in caretaker charge.

Among those Argentina were keen to bring onboard is a man who has won league titles in Spain, Germany and England.

They were, however, quickly priced out of a move for former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach Guardiola.

AFA chairman Claudio Tapia told TyC Sports: “We were looking into hiring Guardiola but it is very difficult, you need to have a big wallet!

“We would have had to mortgage the AFA to pay for it, and maybe even then we wouldn’t have got it done.

“We knew it would be expensive, but we did not think it would be that much.”

Mauricio Pochettino

With Guardiola out of the frame, attention is now switching to other possible targets.

Argentina are eager to appoint a manager with a proven track record, as talks are being planned with two men impressing in La Liga and the Premier League.

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Diego Simeone and Mauricio Pochettino are currently employed by Atletico Madrid and Tottenham respectively, but questions are going to be asked of their potential availability.

Tapia added: “The only person we have asked about is Guardiola.

“We’re now probably going to talk with Simone, [Marcelo] Gallardo, Pochettino and somebody else that the leaders here have proposed.”