FFA dismisses approach for World Cup winning coach

Football Federation have dismissed an approach for Luiz Felipe Scolari to become the next Socceroos’ coach despite the Brazilian World Cup winning coach claiming they were interested in him.
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The FFA denied the Brazilian’s claims they spoke with Scolari about taking charge of the national team for the 2018 World Cup, with senior officials suggesting his claims have been fuelled by agents. But it’s understood Scolari is one of several candidates on their radar.

“There has been a high number of expressions received, some very high profile but we are just commencing our process now,” FFA’s head of national performance, Luke Casserly said.

The Brazilian announced his candidacy on Wednesday morning, saying that he would be interested in taking charge of after recently ending his three-season spell with Chinese giants Guangzhou Evergrande. Scolari says he was spoken to about the Socceroos job but would only be interested if it was for a longer term project beyond just the World Cup in June.

“I am one of the names they spoke with … to see if I was interested in taking them to the World Cup,” Scolari told Reuters on Tuesday.

“I don’t intend in just taking a team to the World Cup,” the former Chelsea manager said.

“I intend on leading a team with an organised project for one or two years. But I am interested.”

Fairfax Media understands the FFA has been bombarded by applications for the job and agents putting forward high-profile candidates. However, the organisation is yet to open discussions with any potential coaches. Its external advisory panel will make recommendations on who Ange Postecoglou’s replacement should be. A shortlist will be devised but it’s unlikely any appointment will be made until February.

The panel, which includes former Socceroos Mark Schwarzer, Mark Bresciano and Stan Lazaridis, met for the first time on Wednesday to begin devising the criteria for the next coach of .

There is no immediate rush to make an appointment with the Socceroos not scheduled to play again until a yet-to-be-confirmed friendly in mid-March.

At the top of the FFA’s wish list is 62-year-old Argentinian coach Marcelo Bielsa, whose attacking style influenced Postecoglou and Matildas’ coach Alen Stajcic. Bielsa is a free agent after being sacked by Lille but is regarded as somewhat of a risky replacement given his volatile results with clubs and countries. Bielsa had successful stints with Chile and Athletic Bilbao but oversaw a disappointing spell while at Lille.

German coach Jurgen Klinsmann is another linked with the job and has close ties to Football Federation forged during his tenure as coach of USA between 2011 and 2016. Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold remains the frontrunner for the job and boldly declared his criteria of what the next coach of the national team should be judged upon at a press conference last week.

Italian Gianni De Biasi has been reportedly linked with , so too Iran coach Carlos Quieroz and former Saudi Arabia and Netherlands coach Bert Van Marwijk.




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