By Duro Ikhazuagbe
Nigeria’s football authorities are set to announce Frenchman, Paul Le Guen as the new Manager of the Super Eagles today in Abuja.
Le Guen, 52, is expected to assume duty immediately after concluding talks on his contract which is speculated to be in the region of $45,000 per month. The contract is initially for three years with chances of being renewed based on performance.
The former Oman national team coach qualified the Indomitable Lions of Cameroun for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. He is also coming to the Nigerian job with a rich background of also having coached Brest, Nantes, Lyon, Rennes and Paris Saint-Germain and Glasgow Rangers in Scotland at club level.
The other European coach shortlisted along with Le Guen and Salisu Yusuf for the job, Belgian Tom Sainfiet ruled himself out of the running for the Eagles top post after he assumed duty as coach of Bangladesh last week.
THISDAY learnt at the weekend that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has secured a deal with that will take care of the salaries of the national coaches including that of Le Guen.
Although NFF chiefs are still keeping the name of the company out of the press for now, it is believed that the football federation will have no problem picking the bills of the French coach.
“NFF will not have problem with the payment of Le Guen’s salaries at all. It has secured a good deal that will take care of that and even those of other coaches in the other national teams,” revealed the credible source yesterday.
THISDAY also learnt that the new Super Eagles coach is going to be accommodated in choice part of Abuja to ensure that he is not distracted from the target of qualifying Nigeria for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Qualifying matches of the group stage are scheduled to begin in October with Nigeria paired along with Algeria, Cameroun and Zambia.
According to the source, the company to bankroll the salaries of the new coach is not the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) earlier speculation to have entered a partnership with the NFF.
“No, the new sponsor is not NNPC. Discussions of possible collaboration was ongoing as at the time newspapers speculated that NFF had secured NNPC deal to pay for a new manager for Eagles,” stressed the top sports official at the weekend.
More than 20 coaches applied for the Super Eagles post from which the NFF Technical and Development Committee shortlisted the final three.
Giovanni Solinas, Saintfiet, Hey Antoine, Mark Wotte, Yusuf, Ernesto Paulo Calvinho, Dorian Marin, Le Guen, Miodrag Jesic, Perry Hansen, Ove Pedersen, Adebayo Lateef Kola, Sylvanus Okpala, Peter Ijeh, Vladimir Petrovic-Pizon, Lodewijk de Kruif, Kenichi Yatsuhashi, Bjorn Frank Peters and Ricki Herbert are among those who applied for the vacant position.