Socceroos watch out, host of foreign teams are chasing Arnie

It’s not just Football Federation that Sydney FC need to worry about potentially poaching their coach, but a host of nations said to be interested in acquiring the services of Graham Arnold. The high-flying coach says he has not had any contact from the FFA to take charge of the Socceroos but says he has received interest from a number of overseas clubs and national federations trying to persuade him to leave the Sky Blues.

Arnold has reportedly been approached by New Zealand to take charge of the All Whites, a job that would allow him to continue coaching Sydney FC in the A-League while balancing international duty. Sydney’s coach didn’t deny the interest from across the Tasman when asked on Friday morning but says New Zealand isn’t the only overseas option available to him.

Arnold has caught the attention of foreign clubs in the past, including his former club NAC Breda in The Netherlands last season and he says others have signalled their interest once more.

“When you’re winning and you get success you get a lot of interest,” he said. “I can say that’s not the only one interested at the moment. I’ve had a fair bit of interest around the world. I’m like a player, players that are doing well and players that get success, they get interest and I’m no different. But, as I said before, I’ve got a contract with Sydney FC and all I’m doing is preparing for the Adelaide game.”

New Zealand have been without a coach since parting ways with Englishman Anthony Hudson after their failed 2018 World Cup qualification campaign that saw the All Whites eliminated by Peru. New Zealand Football approached Arnold at the end of last year with an offer that would allow him to continue coaching in the A-League, but Arnold says he hasn’t discussed that option with Sydney FC.

“That will be two discussions I’ll need to have, one with the All Whites and one with Sydney FC,” Arnold said.

The FFA are continuing their process to identify a replacement for Ange Postecoglou as Socceroos coach but won’t likely make any appointment until the start of February at the earliest. The likes of Slaven Bilic, Bert Van Marwijk, Marcelo Bielsa and Jurgen Kilnsmann have been reportedly linked with the vacant post. Arnold remains one of the candidates and is publicly considered the frontrunner among the domestic-based options but he says he has not had any contact from the FFA.

“I’ve had no contact at all, I’ve told you that in the past and I can honestly say that. But, I don’t control those decision the FFA make. if they want that time to do what they need to do that’s totally up to them. I can only focus on what I’m doing here at Sydney,” he said.

Sydney FC aren’t likely to make any changes to their starting line-up for Sunday’s match away to Adelaide United following their 3-0 win over Brisbane Roar on Monday night. The Sky Blues have avoided any injuries but Arnold has included two extra players, Anthony Kalik and Charles Lokolingoy, to the travelling party.