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Sven-Goran Eriksson set to become Iraq’s new coach

Sven-Goran Eriksson set to become Iraq’s new coach

Iraqi football officials are confident that the Swede will sign up to lead the country at next year’s Asian Cup finals.

Former England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson is in discussions to become Iraq’s new manager, sources have told Reuters.

Earlier this week, the Swede met with representatives of the Iraq Football Association (IFA) in Istanbul. According to Press Association Sport, no deal has yet been agreed, but one could be concluded in the following days.

Iraq are due to play in next year’s Asian Cup finals. IFA officials are confident that Eriksson will lead their country at the tournament, in which they have been draw with Iran, Vietnam and Yemen in the group phase.

Sources close to Eriksson told Reuters that he is yet to make a decision on whether to accept Iraq’s offer.

Eriksson's return to coaching

If Eriksson accepts the Iraq job, it would mean a return to work after a year out of the game following his exit from Shenzhen FC last Summer.

After enjoying great success as club manager for teams like Roma, Benfica and Sampdoria, Eriksson managed England between 2001 and 2006, guiding the Three Lions to the World Cup quarter-finals on two occasions.

The 70-year-old tactician has not coached at international level since working with Ivory Coast at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Most recently, he spent six months in China’s second division with Shenzhen. He also had stints with Chinese Super League sides Guangzhou R&F and Shanghai SIPG.

Iraq are currently 89th in the Fifa’s world rankings. They play Palestine on 4 August before starting their Asian Cup campaign against Vietnam on 8 January.

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