• International football

Redknapp earmarked for Ukraine role

ESPN staff
November 20, 2012 « Owen expects to start training again this week | Chartbeat test »

Harry Redknapp has emerged as the surprise front-runner for the vacant Ukraine manager's post after former striker Andriy Shevchenko turned down the role.

After a meeting on Tuesday, the Ukrainian FA announced their intention to sound out the former Tottenham manager in a statement on their website.

"The praesidium took the decision to begin talks with Redknapp's representatives relating to him working in the post of chief coach of the national Ukraine team," the statement said.

President Michael Fomenko declared that, despite their previous offer to Shevchenko, Redknapp would be the ideal candidate for the job.

"In my opinion, Redknapp will have a high reputation in the national team players. He has enough experience coaching talent and ability to motivate players," Fomenko added in the statement.

"He quickly improves the quality of the game and has reached significant progress. Today this expert is one of the best English coaches."

Ukraine, joint-hosts of Euro 2012, currently lie fifth in England's 2014 World Cup qualifying group, with just two points from three games. Ukraine face England for the second time on September 10, 2013.

Oleg Blokhin resigned as national coach in September after accepting the job of head coach at Dynamo Kiev, prompting the federation to approach Shevchenko.

"I believe that today leading the national team of Ukraine is a somewhat premature step for me," the 36-year-old said in a statement published on the Ukrainian Football Federation's website on Monday. "I hope the leadership of the Football Federation will understand my decision."

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