The Nigeria Football Federation is set to hire a Frenchman as coach of the Super Eagles after the team failed to qualify for a second consecutive Africa Cup of Nations.
National U-23 team coach Samson Siasia was drafted to the Eagles for the double header against the Egyptians after Sunday Oliseh resigned but the Eagles drew 1-1 in Kaduna before they were beaten 1-0 in Alexandria by the record African champions.
Our correspondent learnt that the federation is already in talks with the French coach but they (NFF members) would meet with Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung, on Tuesday to finalise discussions on the matter.
A top official of the federation, who pleaded anonymity, said the coach has also indicated interest to work with Nigerian legend Austin Okocha in his technical crew. He said members of the football body were forced to look to Europe because Nigerian coaches lacked “an all-encompassing manager with the managerial and technical abilities.”
But he disclosed that ex-international Emmanuel Amuneke and Salisu Yusuf would also assist the coach if he eventually gets the job.
Our source said, “The coach we are targeting is not just a regular foreign coach; he wants to write his story with Nigeria. He has a wide knowledge of Nigerian players in Europe and he also has a list of players that have not decided to play for Nigeria. Right now, we are arranging Holland and Scotland friendlies through him. The Frenchman is excited to manage Nigeria and he wants to live in Lagos.
“He will be paid €44,000 monthly but it’s not about the money. He’s coming with a trainer and tactician and he’s going to pay them from his money. That’s how you know the coach is serious. We have put plans in place to ensure he gets his salaries and allowances without hitches.”
NFF president, Amaju Pinnick, however declined comments on the issue but admitted that the meeting with Dalung was geared towards moving Nigerian football forward.
“We will meet with the minister on Tuesday to map out strategies on how to move Nigerian football forward. We want the best coaches to manage our national teams and we are working towards that,” he stated.
Nigerian coaches have managed the national team since 2001 when Amodu Shaibu took over from Dutchman Bonfrere Jo with the Eagles facing elimination for the 2002 World Cup.