Sydney (AFP) – Australia coach Ange Postecoglou was urged to stay loyal to the World Cup hopefuls Tuesday after he was linked with a big-money move to Carlos Tevez’s Shanghai Shenhua in China.
The 52-year-old has failed to confirm or deny reports that he is considering quitting the Socceroos, who face a two-legged playoff with Honduras next month for a place at Russia 2018.
The Sydney Daily Telegraph, without naming sources, said Shenhua, one of Asia’s richest clubs, wants him as coach after they sacked Gus Poyet last month.
The report said Shenhua — who this year made Argentina’s Tevez, 33, one of the world’s best paid players — had prepared a contract worth US$3 million a year to tempt Postecoglou to jump ship.
But Shenhua, when contacted by AFP, denied having any contact with the Australia boss.
Former Socceroos striker Robbie Slater said Postecoglou must first see out Australia’s World Cup campaign, and urged him to come clean on his plans.
“No, you don’t go there. You’re national coach, you stay until it’s done,” he told Sky Sports Radio.
“We’re talking about our country and a commitment and (if) you make all the statements you have, then you stay.
“If you are going to go, tell us. Be honest. That’s the only thing I’m accusing him of — not giving the finality of whatever decision has been made.”
Football Federation Australia boss David Gallop was said to be unaware of the former Brisbane Roar coach’s intentions when reports broke about his potential departure last week.
He said the speculation was unwelcome as the Socceroos prepare for their biggest games in years, with the first leg in Honduras on November 10 and the return tie in Sydney five days later.
“Obviously I’ve spoken to Ange a number of times, a number of factors go into this kind of thing,” Gallop said on Monday.
“He’s made no secret of the fact he wants to coach week-in, week-out again, but his focus is on November and knuckling down to the task which is to qualify for our fourth consecutive World Cup.”
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