Argentina want Peru's World Cup coach Ricardo Gareca to replace Jorge Sampaoli

Peru's World Cup coach Ricardo Gareca is the No. 1 candidate to take the Argentina reins following the sacking of Jorge Sampaoli, according to media reports in the country.

The Argentina Football Association (AFA) parted company with Sampaoli on Sunday, 14 months after he took over the national team.

Argentina narrowly got out of the group stage during the World Cup before being eliminated in the round of 16 by eventual champions France. Under Sampaoli, Argentina won seven, drew four and lost four of their 15 games.

AFA president Claudio Tapia is reportedly in no hurry to name Argentina's fourth coach in four years. Gareca, who led Peru to their first World Cup appearance in 36 years, is currently out of contract.

Peru suffered a group exit in Russia but the country's football federation (FPF) are hoping to convince the former Argentina international to sign a new four-year contract. Gareca, 60, recently said guiding Argentina would be "alluring to anyone."

Tapia's preferred choice is Tottenham's Mauricio Pochettino, according to Clarin newspaper. Pochettino, Atletico Madrid's Diego Simeone and River Plate's Marcelo Gallardo have been linked to the position in recent weeks but each is under contract with his club and unlikely to leave.

That is not the only reason why the Argentine trio would turn down the chance to guide the Albiceleste, according to La Nacion, who claim: "It's not only because they are consolidated from a working standpoint at Atletico Madrid, Tottenham and River, respectively, but because for some years now they have observed from a distance this folly film. Would they want to get involved in a stage so disconcerting and crazy? No."

Former Argentina international Matias Almeyda is also a candidate, according to Clarin. The 44-year-old is a free agent after leaving Mexican side Guadalajara shortly after winning the 2018 edition of the CONCACAF Champions League.

Ole report that Jose Pekerman's name is emerging as a contender, with the Argentinian's contract with Colombia, whom he coached to the round of 16 at the World Cup, expiring in August.

Pekerman guided Argentina in the 2006 World Cup and could be convinced to return.

Argentina will play friendlies against Guatemala and Colombia in the United States in September.