World Cup - Hiddink 'in line for return to Dutch job'

Guus Hiddink is in pole position to become the next Netherlands national team coach as speculation increases over an imminent contract.

Reuters
World Cup - Hiddink 'in line for return to Dutch job'
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Guus Hiddink

Louis van Gaal is to quit after next year's World Cup and Hiddink set to sign a contract in January as his replacement once the tournament in Brazil is concluded, Dutch media reported.

A two-year deal up to and including the 2016 European Championship in France is to be offered to the 67-year-old, who will return for a second spell in charge of the Dutch side.

"I am neither confirming nor denying anything," said Bert van Oostveen, who is the director in charge of Dutch national teams at the country's football association (KNVB).

"That is something we never do when it comes to questions like this," he told the Dutch NOS television on Tuesday.

"Everyone must wait for the facts. We will announce a successor to Van Gaal once he is in place."

Hiddink, however, has confirmed to Dutch media he met with KNVB at his home in Amsterdam last month. He said a contract would be discussed once he returned from a Christmas holiday trip to Africa.

He was the Dutch coach from 1995 until their semi-final defeat at the World Cup in France in 1998.

Initially, Ronald Koeman was the clear favourite to take over once Van Gaal announced he intended stepping down.

But disappointing results with his club Feyenoord over the last year, plus the possibility of renewing his contract with the Rotterdam club, have knocked him out of contention, reports added.

Van Gaal announced in May he would be leaving the job after just two years in charge, saying he wanted to return to club coaching.

The 62-year-old failed in his first stint as Dutch coach, stepping down after the unsuccessful qualifiers for the 2002 World Cup but redeemed himself as the Dutch went unbeaten through the 2014 preliminaries and became the first European side to qualify for Brazil.

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