Sevilla FC president José Castro says that he is only focused on the present amid speculation linking manager Jorge Sampaoli with the Argentina national side.
Speaking at a Semana Santa event in Seville on Tuesday, Castro said: “It [speculation] can’t be avoided; I spent time with Jorge yesterday talking about the team. It doesn’t concern me, what concerns me is the present, the game at the Mestalla against a Valencia side who have turned a corner.
“To talk about the future doesn’t seem logical to me at present when we are playing so much. I’m only thinking about the seven remaining games so that we can finish the season well, if not really well.”
Asked about what has been said in his conversations with Sampaoli, Castro explained: “He always says that they call him and that he has requests, but he is happy at Sevila, we are happy with him. There is a clause in his contract, as there is with all of the professionals, but there is nothing more. Today, officially, we don’t have any evidence to suggest that the AFA are interested in Sampaoli.”
After the announcement on 30 March that Monchi would leave the club, Castro clarified the backroom situation at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán.
He said: “I had known for some time that Monchi would be leaving and we haven’t stopped working in that time. Óscar Arias is a capable individual who has been here at the club for a long time and knows our infrastructure and we will have news on that situation soon.
“But what is on our minds at the minute is winning, it seems as though the league is finished and we have to complete a very important objective for us. That doesn’t mean that we aren’t working on it, but what is important is only looking at winning games and taking points. The rest is being worked on and the result of it will be known soon.
“We are fourth, one point off what would be our highest points total at this stage of the season in our history. We want to finish third and while the points are available we will do everything that we can to try and get them. The future has time to sort itself out, what doesn’t have time to do so is the present. The points that we dropped may hinder us reaching where we want to be.
Sevilla returned to winning ways on Saturday with a 4-2 victory against Deportivo La Coruña, and Castro gave his take on the side’s current fortunes.
He said: “After going six games without winning the team was hungry, I thought they played with dynamism and impetus after being stuck on 58 points for a number of weeks. This victory felt fundamental to me and now we can go forward looking at things optimistically.
“Third place is what we have to aim for, we have to win our remaining seven games and evidently the games at home are going to be vital. We’ve always been strong at home and we hope that we’ll continue to be so in the upcoming games. We’ve got to keep looking to win games.”
With the summer transfer window quickly approaching, Castro was asked about the possibility of Jesús Navas and Alberto Moreno returning to the club.
“Jesús Navas could be one of the players that we’re working on behind the scenes,” he said. “His contract is running out and this will always be his home, but now we don’t want to divert any attention, we’ve got to trust in the squad that we have, that is currently picking up good results, and this is the squad that has to meet the objectives that we have set, which is to be in Europe and in the Champions League.”