Sevilla President, Jose Castro, has revealed that newly appointed manager, Vincenzo Montella, was the Club’s first choice candidate to replace sacked manager, Eduardo Berizzo.
Berrizzo was appointed manager earlier in May to replace Jorge Sampaoli who was leaving to manage the Argentine National Team. The 58 year old’s stay with the Andalusian club proved to be short lived with his sack coming just less than six months into the job.
A string of poor performances in recent weeks had made the Argentine’s position untenable and it will be Montella’s immediate concern to address the slump in performance with qualification for next season Champions League a priority.
In a statement on the Club’s official website, an enthusiastic Castro said: “When you’re looking to hire a professional, it’s logical that you go for several options,”
The Club had spent a few weeks managerless before Montella’s arrival.
“The winter break gave us that opportunity, the chance to be sure… We’re in a club where, beyond the budget, we deal in feelings and we have to try and not get things wrong.
“We’ve had days to work and look at the different options and I can indeed say that we’ve signed our first choice. That was Vincenzo and we are happy about that.” The Club President concluded.
Sevilla are currently fifth in La Liga, one place below the Champions League qualification spots, and Castro added: “We’re talking about a club could still achieve everything. Two points off our primary objective, five away from third, in the last-16 of the Champions League, in the Copa del Rey…”
Castro also said “speaking about transfers at the moment doesn’t make any sense,” despite the looming transfer window, because Montella now “has to take the lead and see how the team is — to see what positions need reinforcing.”
The club may face a battle to hold onto Steven N’Zonzi, with Everton boss Sam Allardyce — who managed the midfielder at Blackburn — having confirmed his interest.
“No offer has arrived for N’Zonzi,” Castro said. “He’s one more player in the squad. He wasn’t playing on account of a technical decision and now he can go back to playing because of a technical decision.”
He added: “What we want is to have good players who help us achieve our sporting goals, which is the way it should be… Now we have a new coach, I’m sure he’ll speak with N’Zonzi, he’ll see how he is, but N’Zonzi is one more Sevilla player, who is training as one more player.”
Castro also addressed the fact that Berizzo’s dismissal had come just a month after the coach had been diagnosed with cancer, which was viewed as harsh in some sections of the media.
“Whoever says that doesn’t know the reality,” he said. “Our club has high demands and we thought there were not good sensations in our game and ultimately the results weren’t there either.
“The agreement we’ve had with Eduardo has always been aside from his illness because that’s what he wanted and what he said. We’re talking about a technical decision because we saw that we needed to do a 180 degree turn.”