Despite the assurances from his assistant that Ireland manager, Giovanni Trapattoni, will not take up the vacant Super Eagles job, his
advisor has declared that Italian tactician would be interested in
coaching Nigeria after turning down offer to handle the Les Elephants
of Cote d’Ivoire.
Speaking through Domenico Ricci, his advisor, the veteran Italian disclosed that he although he was approached by the Elephants a week
ago to lead the side at June’s World Cup, he would be interested in
handling the Super Eagles on a longer contract.
“He refused an offer from Ivory Coast a week ago because they offered
him only the World Cup,” Ricci told BBC Sport.
“But I think he is more interested in Nigeria than Ivory Coast. He is not tired yet. He has a very young mentality, so he wants to do something and he’s not just interested in the World Cup.”
Nigeria is on the hunt for a coach to lead them at the 2010 World Cup finals after firing coach Shaibu Amodu a week ago.
The 70-year-old Italian is one of the coaches on the Nigerian Football
Federation’s list of preferred candidates.
Trappatoni is currently in charge of the Republic of Ireland and is
contracted to lead them through to the end of the Euro 2012 qualifiers.
Earlier this week, a Football Association of Ireland official expressed “confidence” that Trapattoni would stay in the Irish job.
Trapattoni’s name is believed to be on a list of six other coaches being targeted by Nigeria.
The other coaches being targeted by Nigeria include Egypt coach, Hassan
Shehata, Russia boss, Guus Hiddink and Bayern Munich coach, Louis Van
Former Senegal boss Bruno Metsu, ex-Ghana coach, Ratomir Dujkovic and one-time England caretaker manager, Peter Taylor are also on the
The NFF has pledged to reach a decision by the end of February.
Trapattoni’s Republic drew 1-1 with Nigeria in a friendly match at
Fulham’s Craven Cottage ground in May 2009.
They missed out on World Cup qualification after a controversial
play-off against France in which Thierry Henry’s handball allowed his
team to level on the night and progress on aggregate.
Trapattoni is also a former coach of the Italian national team, and has
enjoyed huge success at club level at Juventus, Inter Milan, Bayern
Munich and Benfica.