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AFCON winner Hervé Renard interested in Egypt post
Two-time Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) winner Hervé Renard has expressed interest in Egypt’s vacant national team manager position.
“Now I have a contract with Ivory Coast and I am focused with the Elephants, but later if [Egypt] offers me a deal I will think about that because Egypt is a very big team and I would like to lead them,” the Frenchman, who led Ivory Coast to its second-ever AFCON title earlier in the month, told Radio Monte Carlo.
However, Renard also suggested that the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) hasn’t yet contacted him regarding the post.
“None of the Egyptian officials talked to me to take the job,” he said.
Renard’s comments seem to contradict those made by EFA board member Mahmoud El-Shamy earlier in the week.
While El-Shamy confirmed Renard as a favorite for the job along with Belgian George Leekens, he says the EFA has already been in contact with the 46 year-old.
“Renard is believed to be leaving Ivory Coast and Leekens won’t continue with Tunisia. Both are the favorites for the post. We have already negotiated with Renard, reaching agreements regarding his financial demands and his staff,” he said in televised comments.
“The next Egyptian coach will be a foreigner, I swear. The Association will announce his name before February 28,” he added.
Renard first rose to prominence after leading Zambia to its first-ever AFCON title in 2012.
The Pharaohs have been without a manager since sacking Shawky Gharib in November. Gharib presided over a two-win, four-loss campaign in AFCON 2015 qualifying which resulted in the team’s third successive failure to reach the finals.
The EFA has made several promises of high-profile managers for the Pharaohs over the years but failed to deliver each time, typically settling for less-costly, less-qualified options.
In 2004, the last time it promised a proven foreign commodity, the EFA settled for former Italian international footballer Marco Tardelli.
The EFA also suggested it would go after a successful international manager in 2002, following the resignation of legendary Egyptian coach Mahmoud El-Gohary. The late Bruno Metsu, fresh off of a stunning 2002 World Cup campaign with Senegal, was among those who expressed interest in the vacant Egypt post. The EFA instead settled on then-Ismaily manager Mohsen Saleh, citing financial constraints.