Hiddink moves into Socceroos' sights - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hiddink moves into Socceroos' sights

By Cameron Tomarchio 28/11/2007 08:28:50 PM Comments (0)

Football Federation Australia chief executive Ben Buckley said he would be happy to talk to Guus Hiddink about the Socceroos job if the Dutchman's talks with Russia fell through.

Hiddink, who guided the Socceroos to the round of 16 at the 2006 World Cup, agreed in principle last month to extend his contract with Russia until 2010, at the time ending speculation he would coach elsewhere in the near future.

But Hiddink's agent has accused the Russian Football Association of stalling over signing the new contract with his client.

The Dutchman said all that was left for his agent Cees van Nieuwenhuizen and the Russian FA to work out were minor details before he could sign a new deal.

However, after Hiddink guided Russia to the Euro 2008 finals, van Nieuwenhuizen said he was being frustrated in his attempts to hold talks with Russian FA chief Vitaly Mutko.

"I don't see the situation as normal. It's strange to say the least," van Nieuwenhuizen was quoted as saying by the Sovietsky Sport newspaper.

"It was Mr Mutko who said he wanted Guus to stay as Russia coach but he has done nothing since.

"I've helped Guus in signing many different contracts with various soccer federations but I've never been in a situation like this before.

"I've emailed them several letters but did not get any response. If they don't want Hiddink as their coach, they should say so and find someone else."

The Russian FA issued a statement on their website saying they were involved in negotiations with Hiddink and his lawyers over the new contract.

FFA have been in a desperate search of a new Australia boss since another Dutchman, Dick Advocaat, turned down the job earlier this month to extend his stay with Russian club St Petersburg.

"If Guus was available we would be very keen to talk to him," Buckley said.

Van Nieuwenhuizen said several other countries, including England, had expressed interest in hiring the highly successful mentor, who led the Netherlands and South Korea to the World Cup semi-finals in 1998 and 2002 respectively.

"I was told Hiddink is on their (England) list," he said.

England are looking for a new manager after sacking Steve McClaren following their failure to qualify for the Euro 2008 finals.

Hiddink himself has repeatedly said he is happy in Russia and looking forward to signing a new contract.

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