Argentina boss Jorge Sampaoli has openly suggested that prolific forwards Paulo Dybala and Mauro Icardi could miss out on going to the World Cup this year.
Sampaoli, though, has pointed out that the strikers may not be suited to his system, despite their burgeoning form at club level.
According to Goal journalist Daniel Edwards, the Argentina manager, speaking at a forum in Manchester, revealed that getting Dybala up to speed was a "complicated" process.
"Is complicated for him [Dybala] get used to our plan," he explained. "We couldn't improve his performances and we have to evaluate if the current players are better than Paulo or if we've to keep working with Paulo to improve his performance."
Speaking in Manchester, Jorge Sampaoli has suggested Paulo Dybala and Mauro Icardi's World Cup chances are fading fast.— Daniel Edwards (@DanEdwardsGoal) March 22, 2018
As for Icardi, Sampaoli is worried that there is not enough time for the player to adapt.
"The connection between Icardi's performances in Inter and Argentina wasn't the best," he added. "I realised that and felt that we have to work on it more. But we don't have enough time."
Not taking Dybala and Icardi to the World Cup would be unspeakably stupid. I do not care about the reasoning unless someone’s going to jail— Ed Malyon (@eaamalyon) March 22, 2018
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"Maybe his adaptation time is not a short one. I won't dismiss him, but, as Argentina's coach I have to focus on the partnerships on the pitch."
Neither forward was called up for La Albiliceste's upcoming friendlies against Italy and Spain, which is indeed a worrying sign for both players. While Sampaoli has stopped short of confirming the pair won't make it to Russia, things do look rather bleak for the in-form duo.