Former Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink is in the frame to coach Côte d'Ivoire at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™.
The Dutchman is contracted to the Russian Football Union until the end of June, and is then due to become manager of Turkey in August. The Russians have insisted he will work exclusively for them for the remainder of his deal, however Hiddink may be tempted by a chance to the Ivorians at the finals in South Africa.
Côte d'Ivoire's football association president Jacques Anouma told BBC Sport an approach has been made to Hiddink, and he is their main target. Anouma said: "Guus is one of the people we have contacted about becoming coach. Probably in the middle of next week something will be concluded."
Côte d'Ivoire sacked Vahid Halilhodzic after a disappointing CAF Africa Cup of Nations campaign and were under the guidance of acting coach Kouadio Georges when they lost 2-0 to Korea Republic in a friendly at Loftus Road yesterday. Hiddink is not the only coach on Anouma's list.
Sven-Goran Eriksson was in the crowd to watch yesterday's friendly, and has also been linked with the job, as he was with the Nigeria vacancy which was filled last week by his fellow Swede Lars Lagerback. Anouma said he has not approached Eriksson.
"Sven has not been contacted but there were a lot of coaches at Loftus Road for the match and some have contacted me," added Anouma. "Of the three or four in contention to become the next coach, Guus is the person we want but we are still talking to him. Talks are ongoing but nothing has been decided."
Les Elephants may need to look elsewhere if hiring Hiddink proves too difficult. However, Hiddink would be open to the role if something can be worked out. The 63-year-old told reporters in Holland: "I have some matters to resolve before I reach my decision."
Hiddink has previously coached the Netherlands, Korea Republic and Australia, as well as several clubs, most recently Chelsea, where he worked with Ivorian striker Didier Drogba. Côte d'Ivoire will face Brazil, Portugal and Korea DPR in their FIFA World Cup group.