Argentina coach Sabella to quit, say media reports

Argentina's national soccer team coach Alejandro Sabella poses for a picture with children during a ceremony in his honour at the Argentine Congress in Buenos Aires on July 22, 2014. Sabella will not renew his contract once it expires in Septemb
Argentina's national soccer team coach Alejandro Sabella poses for a picture with children during a ceremony in his honour at the Argentine Congress in Buenos Aires on July 22, 2014. Sabella will not renew his contract once it expires in September, Argentine press reports claimed on Tuesday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BUENOS AIRES (AFP) - Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella will not renew his contract once it expires in September, Argentine press reports claimed on Tuesday.

The Argentine Football Association (AFA) had offered him an extension, but according to daily newspaper La Nacion's website, Sabella "has told Julio Grondona (AFA president) that he won't continue as coach".

The 59-year-old took Argentina to the World Cup final in July, where they lost 1-0 to Germany after extra-time.

He had taken over from Sergio Batista after Argentina's dire Copa America showing on home soil in 2011, where they reached only the quarter-finals.

An AFA spokesman refused to comment on the reports to AFP, indicating only that Sabella will hold a press conference at the national team's training centre in Ezeiza, near Buenos Aires, at 7pm GMT on Wednesday (3am on Thursday in Singapore).

Two days before the World Cup final, Sabella's agent said he would not extend his contract while the coach himself said he would only make a decision after the tournament in Brazil.

Several names have been touted by the Argentine press as potential replacements, including former Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino, Colombia coach Jose Pekerman and current Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone.