Sevilla agree Jorge Sampaoli return to replace Julen Lopetegui

Sevilla have reached an agreement with former manager Jorge Sampaoli to return to the club to replace Julen Lopetegui, sources have told ESPN.

Lopetegui, who secured Champions League qualification for Sevilla in each of his previous three years in charge and won the Europa League in 2020, has come under pressure after a difficult start to the season.

Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, more (U.S.)

Sevilla are 17th in LaLiga with five points from seven games, one point above the relegation zone, and were beaten 2-0 at home by Atletico Madrid on Saturday.

Sources said Sampaoli, 62 — who has coached the Chile and Argentina national teams as well as Santos and Atletico Mineiro in Brazil and Marseille in France in the last decade — will sign a two-year contract to take over once Lopetegui has departed.

The timing of Lopetegui’s exit has been the only sticking point, with Sevilla in Champions League action against Borussia Dortmund at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium on Wednesday.

Sources told ESPN that they expected Lopetegui’s sacking to be made official on Wednesday night or Thursday morning.

Talks between Sevilla and Sampaoli moved fast, with the Argentinian out of work after leaving Marseille in July.

Sources close to the Ligue 1 club told ESPN that Sampaoli had made “outsized” demands after guiding them to second place in the league behind Paris Saint-Germain in 2021-22.

Sevilla considered a number of alternatives to Sampaoli, but his familiarity with the club and the city, having been in charge for the 2016-17 season, worked in his favour.

That year, Sevilla finished fourth in LaLiga with 72 points — after topping the table earlier in the campaign — and reached the Champions League round-of-16 before Sampaoli left to take charge of Argentina.