Buenos Aires: Former Argentine World Cup-winning goalkeeper Nery Pumpido is to take charge of Godoy Cruz amid a series of coaching changes in the country's first division ahead of the Clausura championship in the second half of the season.
 
Racing Club are on the verge of lining up former Argentina coach Alfio Basile to replace Diego Simeone, who departed for Atletico Madrid, while Uruguayan Jorge da Silva is taking charge at Banfield.   

"Nery Pumpido, the ex-world champion with the Argentina team in 1986, will lead the squad that will play in the first division tournament and the Copa Libertadores," Godoy Cruz said on their website (www.clubgodoycruz.com.ar) on Friday.   

The 54-year-old will fill the vacancy left by Da Silva, who surprised the club's board by quitting despite having steered them into the Libertadores, South America's elite club competition, for the second time.   

Pumpido has already won the Copa Libertadores as a player with River Plate in 1986 and as a coach with Olimpia of Paraguay in 2002.    

Ex-Uruguay striker Da Silva left Godoy Cruz because he was unhappy at criticism over poor results in the Apertura run-in which nearly scuppered their Libertadores ambitions.   

The 50-year-old replaces former Mexico coach Ricardo La Volpe, who left Banfield after failing to lift them off the bottom of the championship standings.   

"I liked how convinced the directors were about me being the person capable of taking charge of the team because I think there are very good players here to do a good job," Da Silva told reporters after his unveiling on Friday.   

The Racing board were discussing personal terms with Basile before deciding whether to bring the twice Copa America winning coach back to the club for the fourth time as team boss.   

More than half the clubs in the 20-team first division have parted company with the coaches who were at the helm of their teams at the start of the Apertura in August.

(Agencies)