Avcı departs, Turkish Football Federation starts talks with Galatasaray coach Terim

Avcı departs, Turkish Football Federation starts talks with Galatasaray coach Terim

Avcı departs, Turkish Football Federation starts talks with Galatasaray coach Terim

Fatih Terim (L) signals that it will be hard for him to reject becoming national team coach, which is a vacant position after the departure of Avcı (inset). Terim adds that he will not quit Galatasaray ‘unless Galatasaray quits him.’ AFP photo

Galatasaray coach Fatih Terim is being lined up for a return to the national team fold after Turkey coach Abdullah Avcı left his post.

The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) confirmed that Avcı had left his job in a simple statement on its website. “Abdullah Avcı has left the national team by mutual agreement following negotiations. We thank Mr Avci for his work,” the statement read.

The TFF was quick to start searching for a replacement, with Terim, the country’s most decorated coach, heading the shortlist. Fatih Terim met with TFF chairman Demirören early yesterday, holding a one-hour meeting. Demirören made his offer to Terim, but the two are also set to meet later with the participation of Galatasaray chairman Ünal Aysal.

It was believed that Terim would favor a dual coaching role, but media reports indicate that Demirören would want the Turkish coach, nicknamed “The Emperor,” to take over the national team only in the long term.

Late on Aug. 20, Terim was quick to brush off rumors that he was leaving Galatasaray.

“Of course, it is a matter of pride for anybody to be considered for the national team,” a statement from Terim released on the Galatasaray website read. “But believing that one who has devoted himself to Galatasaray could give up on Galatasaray is unbelievable. I want to express that I will not quit Galatasaray unless Galatasaray quits me.”

Terim, who has led Galatasaray to a national record of six league titles, has coached Turkey on two different occasions. His first stint was between 1993 and 1996, when he led Turkey to the European Championship for the first time in the country’s history. His second stint was between 2005 and 2009, and although he failed to lead the country to the World Cup in two attempts, he was at the helm when Turkey enjoyed a semifinal run in Euro 2008.

Tough task

Anyone who takes the national team job faces the tough task of overhauling Hungary and Romania in the 2014 World Cup qualification performance.

Avcı took over the role in November 2011, but has paid the price for a poor qualification campaign that has left the team fourth in Group D.

Turkey have seven points after six games, a long way behind runaway leaders the Netherlands, on a maximum 18 points, and four points behind second-placed Hungary, which is currently in the playoff spot.

Turkey will meet Andorra and will then take on Romania in two key games next month.