The search for a new national coach is expected to be protracted after the Korea Football Association failed to reach a deal with Jesse Mascherano (51, U.S.), who was the top candidate for the job.

Last month, National Strength and Conditioning Committee Chairman Chung Eui-sung met with Masi in London, England, and reached a consensus on the South Korean coach. Masi, who is familiar to Korean fans as Hwang Hee-chan’s mentor when the 28-year-old played for Salzburg in Austria, has coached in the German Bundesliga and 온라인카지노 English Premier League.

Until late last month, the consensus within the federation was to give the national team’s U-23 coach Hwang Sun-hong the reins, but after the team’s U-23 Asian Cup quarterfinal exit derailed their hopes of qualifying for the Olympics, the focus shifted to hiring a foreign coach, and Masih emerged as the top choice.

Masih responded positively to the KFA’s offer and began working out the details, but it is understood that he ultimately did not accept the KFA’s offer. The disagreement centered on financial matters such as salary and taxes.

Mourinho, who was paid around $6 billion to manage Leeds United in the Premier League for a year starting in March 2022, reportedly lowered his salary from what he earned at Leeds, but the two sides were still at odds.

The KFA’s inability to lure Masi, whose understanding of Korean players and aggressive style of play in various leagues was attractive in many ways, was largely due to its tight financial situation. The KFA took out a 30 billion won loan from a bank earlier this year after the cost of the Cheonan Football Center, which is scheduled to be completed next year, rose to 150 billion won due to rising labor and material costs. The Cheonan Soccer Center, which Chung Mong-kyu Chung, the president of the Korea Football Association, wants to leave as a “legacy” of his tenure, is under financial pressure.

Furthermore, the issue of paying Klinsmann’s remaining salary is also a headache for the federation. Klinsmann, who earned about 2.9 billion won ($2.9 million) in salary, still needs to be paid two and a half years’ worth of salary (about 10 billion won) as his contract runs until the 2026 North and Central American World Cup. “It’s customary in international soccer for both sides to agree on a one-year salary for the year of his departure, but it can be costly if there is a disagreement,” said a soccer insider. The organization is under severe financial pressure and cannot guarantee a generous paycheck for the next coach.

Some have raised the possibility of Chairman Chung Mong-kyu contributing his own money to cover the costs. In fact, when Paulo Bento was appointed in 2018, the association said that Chung donated 4 billion won, but according to public disclosure documents, it was not from his personal wealth but from his company, HDC Hyundai Development Company.

With talks with Mascherano having broken down, the federation immediately shot itself in the foot.

The remaining candidates reportedly include former FC Seoul coach Senor Guinness (72-Turkey), current Iraq national team coach Jesús Casas (51-Spain) and former Wolverhampton manager Bruno Raz (48-Portugal). Guinness’s advanced age (he’s in his 70s) is an obstacle, while Casas has a relatively uneventful career and still has time left on his contract with Iraq. Raz has never been in charge of a national team before.

If the appointment is delayed, which was originally planned for early to mid-May, it is possible that the interim coach will be in charge of next month’s two World Cup qualifiers against Singapore (away) and China (home).

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