Ranieri and Klinsmann head shortlist for UAE job

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Cosmin Olaroiu has rejected initial overtures to become the UAE’s next coach as a summer switch back to Europe is priority if he leaves Al Ahli, meaning the Romanian does not feature on a final shortlist from which a candidate is hoped to be hired within the next 10 days.

This viewpoint ensured the 47-year-old isn’t in a group of potential successors to Mahdi Ali which includes the likes of recently-dismissed Argentina boss Edgardo Bauza, ex-United States and Germany supremo Jurgen Klinsmann, Peru tactician Ricardo Gareca plus Colombian Reinaldo Rueda, who commanded Honduras at World Cup 2010 and Ecuador at World Cup 2014.

From this quartet, demands for a contract worth €3.5 million (Dh13.6m) a year from legendary ex-striker Klinsmann, 52, have initially been deemed too expensive. Rueda, 59, led Atletico Nacional to the 2016 Copa Libertadores and is prepared to accept €2.5m (Dh9.7m) per annum, a figure well within the UAE Football Association’s budgetary confines.

Olaroiu has earned a stellar reputation in the Middle East during the previous decade thanks to 14 trophies wins at Qatar’s Al Sadd, Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal plus the Emirates duo of Al Ain and Ahli. This standing saw contact recently made to gauge interest in replacing Ali following his resignation after March 28’s 2-0 defeat in Australia left hopes of making World Cup 2018 in tatters.

But the man who led Saudi on a temporary basis to a group-stage exit at the 2015 Asian Cup ideally wants a return to his own continent if time is called on a triumphant four-year spell at Rashid Stadium.

Only intervention from the highest levels of Emirati society could potentially change his mind about the Whites post.

Olaroiu has been linked before with the Romania job. His contract at the Red Knights expires next year.

The newly-recalibrated UAE FA’s technical committee have been entrusted with selecting a successor to Ali.

The governing body’s president Marwan bin Ghalita was convinced they will choose the right candidate to breathe fresh life into the Road to Russia and lead the nation on home soil at the 2019 Asian Cup.

He said: “For sure, it will be a national team coach. For sure, it will be a coach with achievements.

“They [technical committee] have a shortlist and they are reviewing all the CVs. So far they have four or five.

“About a week to 10 days, it will be finished.”

The UAE are currently fourth in Group B during the third-and-final qualifying round, with only the top three offering progression. They next visit Thailand on June 13.

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