Ukraine target Harry Redknapp for national job after Andriy Shevchenko rejects role

 

Harry Redknapp's agent has confirmed the Football Federation of Ukraine have made contact as they look to appoint a new manager.

The FFU revealed in a statement this afternoon they would seek to initiate talks with Redknapp after identifying the 65-year-old as their primary target to succeed Oleg Blokhin.

Redknapp's agent, Paul Stretford of Triple Sports and Entertainment Group, later revealed contact had since been made.

It is understood Redknapp, who has been out of work since leaving Tottenham in the summer, is willing to hear any offer from Ukraine, who are in England's World Cup qualification group.

"I can confirm that we have been approached by the Ukrainian FA who are keen to talk to us about the possibility of Harry becoming the next manager of the national team," Stretford said.

After leaving Spurs Redknapp turned down an approach from Russia, who subsequently appointed former England boss Fabio Capello.

According to the FFU statement Redknapp's name was agreed as its first choice - after Andriy Shevchenko turned down the role yesterday - following a recommendation from former Arsenal defender Oleg Luzhny.

"On Tuesday, during a meeting of the Football Federation of Ukraine, the chairman of national teams' committee and coaches' council Mikhail Fomenko reported on the situation surrounding the selection of candidates for the position of a head coach," the statement read.

"During discussions some specialist managers were suggested to be invited from England - Oleg Luzhny and Yury Vernidub mentioned Redknapp's surname.

"The majority of members of the committee supported this suggestion.

"The presidium made the decision to start negotiations with Redknapp's representatives concerning his work on the position of the head coach of a national team of Ukraine."

Ukraine have been looking for a new manager after Blokhin resigned to take over at Dynamo Kiev earlier this season. Shevchenko, 36, turned down the chance to coach his country after claiming any such move would be a "premature step". That has prompted the FFU to turn their attention to Redknapp.

"In my opinion, Redknapp will have high authority on players of the national team," Fomenko said.

"He has enough experience being a coach and ability to motivate football players.

"In all teams headed by Redknapp, the quality of game and significant progress had been quickly improved. For today, he is one of the best of British coaches."

PA

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