Belgian Football Federation officials have begun courting Louis van Gaal, who has just led AZ Alkmaar to the Dutch league crown, in the hope he will replace Rene Vandereycken as Belgium's national team coach.
Flemish language paper Het Laatste Nieuws said Friday officials from the federation (URBSFA) travelled across the Dutch border on Wednesday to enter talks with Van Gaal.
Dutchman Van Gaal, who won back-to-back Spanish titles with Barcelona in 1998 and 1999, is under contract with AZ until 2010 although the report suggested he could combine both jobs. "It's not ideal, but for some candidates it's an option," said URBSFA president Francois De Keersmaecker.
Vandereycken, 55, was sacked in April after three years in his post. He failed to lead Belgium to the UEFA EURO 2008 finals, and with the team currently fourth in their FIFA World Cup™ qualifying group with seven points from an available 18, their chances of qualifying are slim.
Marseille coach Eric Gerets turned down the Belgium job last week, as did Ghent coach Michel Preud'homme. Among the contenders to take over, according to the report, are Belgians Hugo Broos, Marc Wilmots and Jean-Francois De Sart as well as Romanian Laszlo Boloni, the coach of Standard Liege.