Jorge Sampaoli has denied that he will swap Sevilla for Barcelona at the end of the season insisting La Liga’s champions are not interested in him.
The Chilean had been heavily linked with succeeding the outgoing Luis Enrique, who will be leaving the club after three years in charge at the end of the season.
But Sampaoli has seen his chances unravel in recent weeks after his side crashed out of the Champions League to Leicester this week and slipped behind in the title race.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s trip to Atletico Madrid, the 57-year-old said:
‘I do not have to renew because I have a contract. Nor is it real that Barcelona have taken an interest in me, they did not contact me.’
‘I would like Monchi to stay, but it is not a condition for me to stay. According to the football project that Sevilla has, one is here to help or not, I feel useful, loved and respected.’
After sailing to a 2-0 lead in the first-leg of their last-16 Champions League tie with the Premier League champions, the Europa League holders conspired to lose 3-2 on aggregate after defeat in the King Power Stadium on Tuesday.
Sampaoli though dismisses the notion the collapse was a failure by his side.
‘The Champions League loss was a painful defeat for us but I don’t consider it a great failure.
‘It did cause me great pain that even meant I wasn’t able to sleep but as I said, life must go on.
‘People will think that we are in a state of depression but it won’t be like that. I am really enjoying my time at the club this season so it is only natural that any defeat we suffer hurts me.’