Former France and Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier is helping Football Federation Australia track down a new coach with local Ange Postecoglou emerging as favourite to replace Holger Osieck, reports said Monday.Osieck was sacked on Saturday just eight months out from the World Cup after the Socceroos were thrashed 6-0 by France in an international friendly in Paris.
Guus Hiddink was immediately linked to a return after guiding the Socceroos to the second round of the 2006 World Cup in Germany, but Melbourne Victory coach and two-time A-League championship winner Postecoglou is gaining support.
Houllier, who was pursued by FFA boss Frank Lowy to succeed Hiddink in 2006, has reportedly provided the organisation with a list of names which is understood to include Frenchman Alain Perrin, the Daily Telegraph said Monday.
Having succeeded Houllier at French club Lyon, Perrin was in contention to coach France in 2008 but has since been working in the Middle East.
While a host of international coaches have been touted, FFA chief executive David Gallop is believed to strongly favour a local candidate with Postecoglou seen as favourite ahead of former national interim coach Graham Arnold, the newspaper said.
"I guess all the commentary will run with my name," Postecoglou told reporters. "The only thing I would recommend strongly is to appoint the best person for the job.
"I don't like this whole 'Let's go local as opposed to overseas'. It is our national team and whoever the best person for the job is, that's who should get it. I've never been into tokenism or just doing things because it seems right."
The Australian broadsheet, meanwhile, said FFA was unlikely to replace its Dutch technical director Han Berger when his contract ends next year amid budgetary measures.
Newspapers said the key issue for FFA was whether to opt for a short-term fix in the form of a high-profile international like Hiddink for the World Cup then make a full-time appointment, most likely a local.
Alternatively, they appoint a full-time coach now to take Australia to Brazil, the Asian Cup in 2015 and the 2018 World Cup in Russia.