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Sampdoria coach Marco Giampaolo says it is time to stop selling best players

Sampdoria coach Marco Giampaolo, exasperated at seeing his team concede nine goals on their way to losing their last two games, says they will continue to hover around the middle of the Serie A table if they continue selling their top players.

Giampaolo's comments are likely to resonate with supporters of many middle-sized clubs around Europe where a good performance once season simply means a rebuilding job the next as their key performers are snapped up by top clubs.

Giampaolo led the Genoa-based team to 10th place in Serie A last season, his first in charge, and they began the present campaign brightly, especially at home where they won their first six league games.

They held sixth place for more than 20 rounds of matches and looked capable of challenging for a place in the Champions League but have now dropped to eighth after losing 4-1 at lowly Crotone and then 5-0 at home to Inter Milan on Sunday.

The players who departed at the end of last season included central defender Milan Skriniar, sold to Inter Milan, and forwards Luis Muriel, sold to Sevilla, and Patrick Schick, loaned to AS Roma.

Inter Milan captain Mauro Icardi, who scored four goals on Sunday, is also among other players who have been allowed to leave Sampdoria in the last few years.

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