Sao Paulo manager Juan Carlos Osorio on Wednesday confirmed he will be leaving the Brazilian league club to coach the Mexico national team.
Sao Paulo had announced the move on Tuesday, with club president Carlos Miguel Aidar saying in a statement: "I deeply regret Osorio's decision. He was doing a good job."
Mexico's national team director Santiago Banos had already mentioned his desire to choose a new coach by the end of this week, although the Mexico federation had not yet officially confirmed Osorio's appointment on Wednesday.
Osorio, 54, had admitted on Monday that coaching Mexico was a dream job but also said that he wanted to coach Sao Paulo at least until the Copa do Brasil final.
"I am making formal my connection with the Mexico national team for the 2018 World Cup preparation," Osorio said during a news conference. "This is a difficult decision between staying here or taking the role on a very prestigious national team.
"I would like to thank Brazil and its people for making us feel at home and allowing us to learn about the culture and the football. I am grateful to Sao Paulo for the trust they placed in me and a group of Colombians by allowing us to contribute to Brazilian football," Osorio said, reading his statement in Portuguese. "I want to thank the fans, who have always shown so much love. And to the media, for their knowledge and analysis, because I value them, as I especially admire the differences of opinion. I am even grateful to the man who cuts the grass."
Banos on Tuesday defended the federation's decision to select Osorio, but admitted that the deal is not yet done.
"We still have to refine details and we hope over the next few days to sit down and do that so that he can join us, but as of today it is not 100 percent official," Banos said. "We have detail, contract negotiations to finish but we hope to resolve all this so that he can begin to work soon.
"The idea is to sit down, discuss what is pending and have him present during the match in Los Angeles [Pasadena] whether the contract is signed or not," Banos said. "I think it is very important for him to see the players and how they are on the field and present him as we would a new national team coach.
"There are a lot of people who do it [criticise Osorio] because they don't know him and they don't investigate," Banos said on ESPN's Los Capitanes. "He is very well-prepared and has a great desire to coach a national team so he brings that hunger. His main goal is to coach at a World Cup.
"His career in Colombia was undervalued. He won seven titles there and that is not an easy league."
The former Chicago Fire and New York Red Bulls coach said two weeks ago that he wanted to coach in a World Cup.
Osorio has won four league titles in Colombia's top division, but only lasted a handful of league games when he was at Puebla in the Liga MX.
He will replace Miguel Herrera, who was fired in July after Mexico won the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Herrera gave Osorio a vote of support two weeks ago.
"[Osorio] isn't a bad option, he's already worked in Mexico, but the decision is for the directors," said Herrera in an interview with ESPN Digital, adding that Osorio is a "Great worker [and] a extraordinary guy."
Interim manager Ricardo "Tuca" Ferretti will lead Mexico against the United States on Saturday in Pasadena, California, in a CONCACAF Cup playoff for a berth in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia.
Ferretti was contracted by the federation for four matches, but said he would not take the job full-time as it meant resigning from his post coaching Tigres in the Liga MX.
El Tri begin their World Cup qualification on Nov. 13 at home to El Salvador and then travel to Honduras on Nov. 17.
Osorio leaves Sao Paulo in sixth place in the Brazilian championship, the same position the team occupied when he took over in May after joining from Colombian club Atletico Nacional.
Aidar said he had also asked all of Sao Paulo's directors to resign.