Russia may free Hiddink for Nigeria job

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The Independent Football

The appointment of a new president of the Russian football union could pave the way for Guus Hiddink to leave his coaching post, according to a representative of the Dutchman.

The former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss is currently a target of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), who are seeking a high-profile coach to lead them in this summer's World Cup after Shaibu Amodu was dismissed last Friday.

A special technical committee has been convened with the task of drawing up a shortlist from six names – Hiddink, current Bayern Munich manager Louis van Gaal, Englishman Peter Taylor, ex-Ghana coach Ratomir Dujkovic, Qatar chief Bruno Metsu and Egypt's Hassan Shehata.

With the appointment of Sergei Fursenko as the new supremo of the Russian Football Union (RFU) last week, Hiddink may now be open to other offers.

"Currently there is a new president at the Russia Federation and that might change the situation a bit," the 63-year-old's representative Cees van Nieuwenhuizen said.

"Already he has received offers from other countries who want him to take them to the World Cup.

"One of them is North Korea. Guus did not want to go anywhere because he did not qualify Russia for the World Cup, but now with the new president things might have changed."

However, Van Nieuwenhuizen reiterated that Hiddink was fully committed to his current role and any possibility of a move would have to receive the green light from the RFU.

He told www.kickoffnigeria.com: "Guus is a loyal employee of the Russian Football Federation.

"He has a contract until 15 July and he never breaks a contract. If, and I say if because we have not been officially contacted by the Nigeria federation, if we get such an offer we will have to discuss it with the Russian Federation.

"If there could be an agreement with the Russian Federation, then Guus could consider the situation."

One stumbling block could be Hiddink's high salary, but Van Nieuwenhuizen added: "This is a sporting challenge that Guus would see as a great opportunity to be back on the highest platform of global football with a strong team such as Nigeria.

"From that perspective, it could challenge him. Then he would go more for the sporting challenge than the financial challenge."

Van Gaal ruled himself out of the running for the job at the weekend, meaning he will not be on what is expected to be a final three-man shortlist expected to be announced today.

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