Cape Town - Carlos Queiroz will be named Bafana Bafana coach on Saturday – if he and the South African Football Association (Safa) can agree on his salary.
A top-level source told the Cape Times on Wednesday that Safa have officially offered the Portuguese the job to replace Gordon Igesund as the national coach, but money seems to be the biggest stumbling block.
Iran have offered Queiroz, who quit as coach of their national team after they were knocked out of the World Cup in Brazil, a new deal to reconsider and continue as coach.
But Safa, and especially president Danny Jordaan, is keen to get the former Manchester United assistant coach and Real Madrid manager back in the country for a second stint at the helm of Bafana.
Iran’s offer is apparently a whopping 150% more than what Safa has tabled. It is believed that the former Portugal manager has asked the Safa bosses to meet him halfway, telling them that he is willing to come back to South Africa for half the money the money that Iran is offering.
The 61-year-old Queiroz’s previous contract with Iran was around the R22 million a year. Igesund’s predecessor, Pitso Mosimane, earned about R6m, while Igesund earned in the region of R5m per year.
Queiroz was in charge of Bafana between 2000 and 2002. He managed to qualify the national team for the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan, but quit before the tournament kicked off after a fallout with Safa.
Queiroz took over the Iran national team in 2011 and helped them qualify for their fourth World Cup, but quit after they were knocked out at the group stage.
“I fell in love with them (the players). But you can’t have a marriage when only one person wants to stay married,” he said after Iran’s 3-1 loss to Bosnia-Herzegovina, which eliminated them from the World Cup.
Queiroz is one of 14 coaches Safa said was on its shortlist.
Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi was also one of the hot favourites for the job following the success he has had with the Super Eagles over the last few years.
Other coaches on the list included Giovanni Trapattoni Patrick Kluivert, Roberto Carlos and Fabio Cannavaro.
South Africa Under-20 coach Shakes Mashaba is also viewed as a contender to make it back into the hot seat.
“No, he won’t be there on Saturday,” Jordaan said. “He will be unveiled at a later stage, Saturday will only be the announcement of the new coach.”
Last week, Jordaan said he hoped to bring the new Bafana coach to Johannesburg for the announcement.
“In any team it’s always been like that. If you look at Manchester United at the moment, Louis van Gaal has just taken over. Manchester United are signing top players again, it’s all up to the manager. The players trust in the manager.
“It’s all about the manager being established and successful. The more successful and the more established he is, the more faith and trust the people will have in him.”