PAUL LE GUEN

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has okayed the appointment of Frenchman Paul Le Guen as the next Super Eagles coach, Punch writes.

Le Guen, 52, replaces ex-international Sunday Oliseh who exited the job in February in the middle of the botched 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualification campaign.

The former France international was shortlisted alongside Belgian tactician Tom Saintfiet and caretaker manager of the Super Eagles Salisu Yusuf, but was odds on favourite to land the job having been the preferred candidate of NFF boss Amaju Pinnick.

Le Guen, who has the immediate task of navigating the Eagles through a tough 2018 World Cup qualifying group that features Algeria, Cameroon and Zambia, will be unveiled on July 18 at a ceremony in Abuja.

According to Punch, his appointment has come at a cost to the team, as interim coach Yusuf has turned down the position of assistant, which was the plan of the NFF all along.

The former Kano pillars and Enyimba coach, who led the team to two consecutive international friendly victories in May, believes he’s acquired enough managerial nous to effectively lead the team.

An official at the Glass House said they are currently on a search for an assistant to the Frenchman.

“As it is now the position of the deputy has been thrown open because Yusuf is still insisting that he would not work as an assistant to Le Guen. Those who worked on their entries picked the Frenchman and with the hope that Yusuf could learn a lot from him for the immediate future but he (Yusuf) appears to have some other ideas so the federation will now have to consider a new person altogether to replace Yusuf.”

Le Guen came to prominence during the early 2000s when he led French side Olympique Lyon to three consecutive Ligue 1 titles and the Champions League last eight in 2005.

Described as a scientific coach, the former defender excels at transforming raw materials into finished products, an attribute that will come in handy with the Eagles given the youthfulness of the side.