Chelsea on high alert as coaching target quits role to open door for move

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Jorge Sampaoli has stepped down as Chile coach which in turn has sparked speculation about possible links to Chelsea in the summer.

The Argentinian coach guided Chile to their first ever Copa America success last summer, defeating his compatriots in the final on penalties.

While that led to a nomination for the FIFA Coach of the Year award, tension between the two parties has ultimately led to the split as Sampaoli insisted that he no longer felt respected particularly after details of his contract were leaked to the media.

The 55-year-old has reached a deal with the Chilean FA which will see him give up money that he was due through a bonus agreement following the Copa America triumph, while a payment will be made to the federation against his next contract in football.

“With this step, the board of the ANFP has achieved the goal of resolving the current situation affecting the national team, avoiding uncertainty involving potential lengthy court actions,” a statement from the Chilean FA read.

“Now we will dedicate ourselves to this priority, to do everything possible to qualify for the World Cup in Russia in 2018.”

As reported by Sky Sports, bookmakers have made Sampaoli the favourite to take over at Stamford Bridge in the summer, with current boss Guus Hiddink only in charge on an interim basis until the end of the season.

Nevertheless, it remains to be seen what the Premier League champions opt to do in their search for a long-term solution following the sacking of Jose Mourinho last month, with a whole host of other names also linked with the position.

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