JOHANNESBURG – It is fast becoming clear that Kaizer Chiefs' search for a new coach could see them reuniting with the man who presided over their last glory years.
Stuart Baxter, currently in charge of Bafana Bafana, has emerged as the favourite to fill the vacant position left by Steve Komphela late last season.
While Amakhosi’s football manager Bobby Motaung was coy on who are the two candidates the club is talking to, it has emerged that neither Luc Eymael nor Avram Grant are still in the running.
Eymael looks set to stay at Free State Stars while Grant is reportedly on his way to joining Greek outfit Panathinaikos.
With Motaung having been beaten to the chase by Al Ahly and Pyramids FC to the services of Patrice Carteron and Hossam El-Badry respectively, Baxter is now the front-runner to one of local football’s top jobs.
The Brit has been the before, Baxter having won two league titles with Amakhosi in three seasons.
And though he was careful not to give their game away, Motaung did admit that Baxter does fit the criteria of the coach they are looking for. He said the club was looking for a high-profiled coach with a lot of experience, a coach who’ll be a father figure and understand the dynamics of the league.
“He is still contracted to Bafana Bafana isn’t he? It’s good that we are linked to top coaches,” Motaung said. “He is also one of the top coaches. He was with us. We know his value and his quality. He is a high-profiled coach as well. He falls within the category.”
Motaung added: “We are looking at a coach who will take this club forward and hit the ground running. I won’t mention the candidates that we are speaking to. I don’t like mentioning names until I sign with somebody. Nothing has been signed yet but we have a top coach coming.”
“I’m a good friend with one of his advisers. He told me that Grant has an offer in Greece. Panathinaikos want him on board but not as a coach. They want him to take over as the technical director. This is a good offer and Grant is likely to take it,” a source close to Grant explained.
Mike Makaab of ProSport Inter-national gave clarity regarding the future of Eymael:
“There’s been a lot of interest in Luc Eymael. It has been a little unfair on Free State Stars. Chiefs and SuperSport United showed interest. A whole host of clubs showed interest. The truth is none of these clubs came with a formal offer for Stars to consider because he has a buyout clause.
It is best for us to say he is committed to Stars and unless something dramatic happens that’s where he'll be next season.”
additional reporting by Njabulo Ngidi