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Nigeria close in on foreign coach

By BBC

Nigeria are a step closer to having a new head coach in place for their next African Nations Cup assignment against Uganda in seven weeks' time.

Sani Lulu, the chairman of the Nigeria Football Association, has confirmed to BBC Sport that he is on course to recommend 'the right man to NFA stakeholders" next week.

Lulu and several NFA officials are in London conducting interviews for what is arguably the hottest seat in Nigerian sport, currently occupied by Austin Eguavoen.

Several names have been touted as potential candidates to take charge of the Super Eagles, but former Germany and Scotland coach Berti Vogts has emerged as the front-runner.

After leading Germany to the 1996 European Championship title, the 61-year-old Vogts then saw his reputation damaged by an unsuccessful stint as Scotland coach.

The much-travelled Frenchman Philippe Troussier also met with the NFA entourage on Wednesday but is not considered a serious contender for the job.

When pressed to reveal a name, Lulu said: "We're looking for someone with a lot of experience, someone who is well established in the world of football.

“He must also be a globally recognised name who can chart a new course for Nigerian football.”

There is a school of thought that Eguavoen should continue in the role but Lulu told BBC Sport that appointing a technical supremo is the way forward for the Super Eagles.

He said the new coach will be expected to help set up and develop a youth structure and identify the next wave of international players.

“We have the raw talent, so we want someone who has the ability to package that talent and deliver results at the 2008 Nations Cup and the World Cup two years later.”