Graham Arnold has confirmed he is among the candidates to replace Ange Postecoglou as Socceroos head coach ahead of the World Cup in Russia after speaking to Football Federation Australia (FFA).
After two months of speculation FFA finally contacted Arnold on Thursday night to inform the Sydney FC coach he is on a shortlist of candidates to fill the role vacated by Postecoglou.
Postecoglou resigned as Socceroos coach in November a week after the national side clinched its spot at the World Cup, which will be held in June and July.
Arnold told Sydney FC officials and players of the development and said it was now up to the FFA to disclose any further details.
“I’m very honoured and flattered to be one of the five or six candidates that they wanted to inform or speak to,” Arnold said.
“It was more the process they wanted to inform me of and those details I can’t reveal.”
Arnold attempted to call Sydney FC chairman Scott Barlow, who last month signalled the Sky Blues will fight any attempt by the FFA to hire their coach a year before his A-League club contract is up.
“He (Barlow) was in Russia on an aeroplane,” Arnold said.
“I tried to contact him and had trouble with it so I contacted (chief executive) Danny Townsend straight away and told him.
“I informed my players straight away as well.”
In December Barlow insisted Sydney FC had not prepared a position or made contingency plans in the event of a formal approach from FFA.
After telling Townsend, Arnold was adamant he was still none the wiser as to his club’s possible reaction.
“I haven’t spoke to them at the moment,” he said.
“The contact from FFA was all around the process and what they’re doing.
As it stands, FFA is appearing to target big-name foreign coaches, at least for a short-term stint leading up to and including the World Cup.
FFA chief executive David Gallop is about to leave for Europe to conduct interviews amid heavy conjecture surrounding Roberto Mancini, Jurgen Klinsmann, Bert van Marwijk, Slaven Bilic and Marcelo Bielsa.
Arnold is also set for an interview, though, and has been tipped to get the job after Russia 2018 and take the national team to Qatar 2022.
His comments come after an uncharacteristically flat Sydney FC was held to a 1-1 draw at home by A-League stragglers Central Coast Mariners.