Argentina lines up Sabella

Argentine Football Association president Julio Grondona has revealed Alejandro Sabella is the favourite to take charge of the national team.Sabella was expected to arrive in the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday ahead of pre-season after being appointed Al-Jazira’s new boss in June.

But the 56-year-old failed to turn up, infuriating the Abu Dhabi outfit and adding to speculation that he had been lined up to replace Sergio Batista as Argentina coach.

Batista left his post on Monday after failing to lead Argentina past the quarter-finals of the Copa America.

Grondona revealed former Estudiantes manager Sabella had been in talks with the AFA over the Argentina role, and also distanced himself from speculation Carlos Bianchi was also in the running.

“I do not think the appointment of Sabella will cause criticism in Argentine football,” Grondona told Radio Rivadavia.

“I went to get (Bianchi) twice after the 1998 World Cup in France and he said no.”

“Then he made some remarks I did not like. He said things that make it very hard for us to see eye to eye.”