Ange Postecoglou has opened dialogue over a contract extension with Japan’s Yokohama F. Marinos, amid reports he is being courted by the Greek national team.
The former Australia coach’s first season with Yokohama is on the upswing with the club reaching the J-League Cup final, to be played at the end of the month.
And the team, part owned by the City Football Group, have shown their faith in Postecoglou’s swashbuckling attacking style by declaring their intention to keep him beyond the 2019 expiration date of his existing two-year deal.
Discussions over adding to his tenure in Japan, where Postecoglou endured a difficult start, have been paralleled by speculation in Greece that the Athens-born 53-year-old is being lined up by the Hellenic Football Federation to replace current coach Michael Skibbe.
The German has been the target of a concerted campaign by a number of the nation’s leading clubs and the national media to pay the ultimate price for failing to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Recent losses to Hungary and Finland in the UEFA Nations League have only added fuel to the fire, with reports suggesting that Postecoglou might quit Japan at season’s end in December to take charge of Greece ahead of the 2020 EURO qualifiers and 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign.
But, after winning five of their last seven matches, Yokohama sit 11th on the back of their late season resurgence, and Postecoglou is “a long shot” to leave for Greece, according to a well placed source in Japan.
There is also continuing turmoil within the HFF to be taken into account in terms of any swift decision being made over whether to stick with Scibbe or find a replacement.
The CFG - whose portfolio of clubs includes Manchester City and Melbourne City - remain quietly confident that Postecoglou will likely opt to remain under their umbrella, for the time being at least.
The CFG own 20 percent of Yokohama, but run the club’s football department.
“Ange Postecoglou is of course ambitious but he’s happy where he is at the moment, and knows he’s in a place where he can further improve his craft,” added the source.
“Also, working within the City Football Group there are always possibilities for him.”