Philippe Troussier in a file picture. The Tunisian FA have emerged as favourites to land the services of the Frenchman.
PETALING JAYA: The Football Association of Malaysia’s (FAM) hopes of securing the services of coach Philippe Troussier is getting dimmer by the day.
The 58-year-old Frenchman is the frontrunner to replace former national coach Datuk K. Rajagopal, whose contract was not renewed last month.
However, there are reports that Troussier is in talks with the Tunisian FA to take over their national side from Ruud Krol.
Tunisia are said to be seeking a full time coach to prepare the team for the 2015 African Nations Cup qualifiers, which start in September.
Krol, the former Orlando Pirates coach, was made caretaker coach of Tunisia for the two 2014 World Cup qualifying playoff matches against Cameroon, which they lost. Krol has since been relieved of his duties by the Tunisian FA.
And, according to a source, Malaysia have only a “50-50” chance of landing Troussier.
The FAM had recently announced that Troussier and former Roma manager Zdenek Zeman were the two leading candidates for the national coaching job.
Troussier had held talks with FAM officials after fulfilling his contractual obligations with China’s Shenzhen Ruby but nothing came out of it.
The FAM then appointed national Under-23 coach Ong Kim Swee to be in charge of the senior team on a caretaker basis until they find a new man.
It was reported that Troussier would only consider an offer of US$1.52mil (RM5mil) a year or US$126,805 (RM407,000) a month. It is also learnt that Troussier’s appointment comes as a package deal which would include his back room coaching staff.
The FAM officials have now met Troussier twice and, if everything goes according to plan, the former Japan coach is expected to be hired this month.
The other notable candidates to have applied for the job are Englishman Bob Houghton and Frenchman Marcel Desailly.