x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Aragones poised to take reins at Sevilla

Luis Aragones was last night in talks with Sevilla about returning to the Primera Liga club to take over as coach from the sacked Manolo Jimenez.

Luis Aragones was last night in talks with Sevilla about returning to the Primera Liga club to take over as coach from the sacked Manolo Jimenez. The 71-year-old Aragones, who led Spain to victory at Euro 2008 and had a previous spell as Sevilla coach in the mid-1990s, told As sports daily he had agreed to meet club president Jose Maria del Nido in Cordoba to discuss terms.

Aragones, out of work since leaving Turkey's Fenerbahce at the end of last season, has coached Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Espanyol, Real Betis, Valencia, Real Oviedo and Real Mallorca. Sevilla sacked Jimenez after his side were held to a 1-1 draw at home by basement side Xerez on Tuesday. The Andalusians suffered a surprise Champions League exit to CSKA Moscow last week and have not won in seven matches.

Monchi, Sevilla's sporting director, said it was a difficult but necessary decision to sack Jimenez. "The decision has been very painful and has been taken while considering a series of circumstances. Were playing for two very important objectives in the future, as much sporting as economic, and we are looking for a reaction," said Monchi. Elsewhere, the in-form Gonzalo Higuain will hope to mark his 100th appearance for Real Madrid with a match-winning performance against local rivals Getafe, although recent history suggests that the title-chasers may be in for an uncomfortable night at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez.

Higuain has scored 20 goals in his last 17 league games and he is just five behind fellow Argentine Lionel Messi at the top of the league's scoring charts. "My objective is to beat the number of goals I scored last year [22]. I'm only two away, but aside from my personal aims, my main goal is to help the team. If we are champions and I score goals, then so much the better." In the five league meetings between the two at the Coliseum since Getafe were promoted to the top flight in 2004, Real have suffered three defeats and have managed one win - 1-0 in 2007.

* With agencies Getafe v Real Madrid, 11pm, Aljazeera Sport + 2