JOHANNESBURG – Avram Grant’s handlers say the former Chelsea and Ghana national team coach is currently mulling over an offer from Kaizer Chiefs to fill the vacant Amakhosi position next season after Steve Komphela was fired two weeks ago.
The 63-year-old is currently head coach of Indian Super League outfit North East United FC, having originally been appointed in the role of technical advisor in January this year.
News of Grant possibly heading to Chiefs gained momentum over the weekend when the Sunday Sun first made the link, but – as expected – Amakhosi football manager Bobby Motaung was evasive when asked about a new coach.
It is now believed that Grant will take the next several days to contemplate leaving the lucrative Indian Super League to revive Chiefs’ fortunes following three years without a trophy under Komphela.
Komphela was sent packing after the Glamour Boys were dumped out of the Nedbank Cup semi-finals by Free State Stars at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, a result which triggered a pitch invasion and mayhem as security guards were beaten and the venue set alight by irate Chiefs supporters.
Before moving to India, Grant was in charge of the Ghana national team for nearly two-and-a-half years, reaching the final of the Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea in 2015.
But he resigned soon after the Black Stars were eliminated as semi-finalists in the same competition two years later.
It is understood that Chiefs may announce a new coach as early as next month and Grant is the overwhelming favourite, and the club has already tabled an offer for him to sign if he wants the vacant post, according to his handlers.
Prior to taking an unusual challenge in Africa by accepting the job to coach Ghana, the former Chelsea manager had spent two years in Serbia at Partizan Belgrade.
And his track record before that is well documented, with stints at Stamford Bridge, West Ham United and Portsmouth, where South Africa’s Aaron Mokoena was the captain.
Grant has a pedigree of doing well with any of the clubs he has been in charge of, but also tends to not win anything.
He did not manage to collect any silverware while in England, although he did guide Belgrade to the Serbian Super Liga during the 2011-12 campaign, giving him some credibility in world football and perhaps sparking Ghana’s interest.
Chiefs remain mum on the process of appointing Komphela’s successor or whether current interim coach (until after Saturday’s league fixture away to Ajax Cape Town) Patrick Mabedi will stay on in his previous role as assistant, or whether indeed Doctor Khumalo is set for a return to Naturena in that same capacity.
Khumalo moved to Baroka FC as technical director at the beginning of the season, but was appointed coach for the final two games of the season following the sudden resignation of MacDonald Makhubedu, who cited “undue pressure”.