MOSCOW - Agence France-Presse
Fabio Capello is close to making his return to the international football after resigning from England national team. AP photo
Russia’s football bosses yesterday held talks with ex-England manager Fabio Capello in the hope of luring one of the sport’s biggest names to revive the flagging fortunes of the national team.
“They (Russian Football Union officials) received Capello today. They conducted negotiations,” Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko was quoted as saying by the RIA Novosti news agency.
“From here, we move on to the next candidate,” Mutko added.
“I think that over the course of a week -- certainly by next Tuesday -- all the consultations with the managers on our list... will be held.” Capello’s name was one of 13 to feature in an extraordinary list of possible managerial targets that Russia
was forced to release to dispel rumours that it had already secretly hired a coach.
The wish list includes such giants as ex-Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola and one-time Liverpool chief Rafael Benitez as well as former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp.
The Englishman for one wasted no time brushing off the Russian
approaches but telling The Sun that “I haven’t been contacted but I’m sure it’s a fantastic job for someone.” But Capello’s name has clearly interested suffering fans the most. The ex-England manager was rumoured to be the Russian
Football Union’s first choice and reportedly eager to accept the lucrative and high-profile assignment.
Mutko added to the speculation of an imminent Capello hire by putting the Italian on a par with Guus Hiddink - a legend in Russia
who showed flashes of coaching brilliance while guiding the unfancied side to the Euro 2008 semifinals.
Capello “would be a good option for Russia. He knows how to win,” Mutko told reporters earlier.