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Jorge Sampaoli set to arrive as Marseille manager

As one of the biggest clubs in Europe, the perpetual chaos that follows Olympique Marseille can be hard to keep up with. Despite having among the most passionate fan bases in the world, the club is known to be among the most demanding to manage in the world. Ownership changes over the years paired with an aggressive fanbase who take a lot to do with key club decisions can make it hard for OM to really build and grow. However, the departure of Andre Villas-Boas has opened the door for the arrival of another firebrand visionary – Jorge Sampaoli.

The diminutive Argentine is set to arrive after exiting from Atletico Mineiro, leaving the Brazilian side having managed successfully at the club since arriving from Santos. One thing that might excite OM fans about Sampaoli is his links to a previous beloved coach in Marcelo Bielsa. Having followed his compatriot in charge of the Chile job, Sampaoli went one better and eventually took the national side to a Copa America title. However, things have been up and down at the club since then.

His spell at Sevilla was particularly intriguing; he had the Andalusians fighting for the league title until the turn of the year, when things unravelled greatly and he eventually left before the end of the season. Since, he has endured a nomadic coaching career, moving around from job to job with little stability. Will arriving in one of the most volatile cities in the world, and one of the most passionate football clubs on the planet, be the right step?

Most would say no, but perhaps the ‘loco’ nature of club and coach could be the ideal match made in heaven for both parties.

When will Jorge Sampaoli take charge at OM?

He is expected to arrive in the coming days, with an agreement struck and his contract in Brazil rescinded. Now, he will be free to join the French side and help them fight for a UEFA Europa League place once again. Leaving his previous job, Sampaoli was sent off in his final match in charge of Mineiro – a 3-2 win over Sport Recife – and might actually find himself banned for his debut in the dugout in France.

Concerns, though, exist around just how high up the list of candidates he was. Reports first linked OM with making a move for Spanish tactical supremo Rafael Benitez, who is free and out of work after leaving Dalian Pro in China. However, it is believed that he, alongside Ernesto Valverde and Maurizio Sarri, all turned down a chance to move to the Velodrome and take charge.

At best, then, Sampaoli might be the fourth name on a list drawn up by Pablo Longoria. Longoria is also in the midst of shaping the clubs sporting network, with transformation expected in the scouting and analysis department to help the club modernise its approach to signings.

Sampaoli, then, is expected to sign a deal in France until June 2023.

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