Eriksson linked with coaching North Korea in South Africa

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The Independent Football

Sven Goran Eriksson's charmed career appeared poised for another extraordinary twist last night when he was linked with taking over as coach of North Korea for next summer's World Cup finals.

The Swede is reported to be set to travel to Beijing later this week in the company of Peter Trembling, chief executive of Eriksson's current employers, Notts County, for meetings with representatives of Korean FA. It is claimed that the former England manager would be loaned to the Koreans for the tournament before returing to his job as director of football with the League Two side before the start of next season. The trip to China is also believed to be one in search of investors for Qadbak, County's mysterious owners.

The North Koreans, who are currently touring France where they were held to a goalless draw by second division side Nantes earlier in the week, have qualified for their first World Cup finals since 1966 when they reached the quarter-finals after famously beating Italy 1-0. As well as his five years in charge of England, during which he took them to the 2006 finals in Germany, Eriksson also had a spell as coach of Mexico. But that ended in April this year after only 10 difficult months in charge.

Meanwhile, Roberto Mancini's representative insists the Italian is not in contention for the vacant managerial post at County.

Maurizio De Giorgis has dismissed claims that Eriksson, has been in talks with Mancini. De Giorgis said: "There is no truth in it whatsoever." Eriksson himself is unlikely to takeover the role either.