Perth Glory will explore the sudden availability of Graham Arnold despite already narrowing their global search for a coach to two candidates.
Arnold, who led Central Coast to last season’s championship, became a free agent after his sensational axing by Vegalta Sendai following a winless start to their J.League campaign.
Glory have been without a permanent boss since Alistair Edwards’ sacking in December when they launched a formal six-step process with a specialist sports recruitment group to find a new coach.
The club drew up a two-man shortlist last week with an appointment expected over the coming days.
But Glory CEO Jason Brewer told FourFourTwo that it would be remiss of him not to explore Arnold’s availability.
“We’ve been aware of his position in Japan over the past couple of weeks and we’ve monitored it,” Brewer said.
“We’ve had a process underway for a while and it’s coming to a close but when something like this comes out of left field, it would be remiss of us not to consider it, given his coaching record and the success he brought to the Mariners.”
Brewer was elusive on whether the club had already contacted Arnold following a troubled start to the 2014 Japanese season.
“Who’s to say we haven’t already,” Brewer said when asked if contact had been made.
“The club is aware of his position and we’ve spoken to him in the past over the discussions with Danny Vukovic (who was loaned to Vegalta from Glory) so I’ve certainly got his number on my phone.”
Meanwhile, Sydney FC refused to comment on the speculation linking Arnold with their top job, stating Frank Farina was their coach.
Farina all but confirmed the Sky Blues’ place in the 2013-14 A-League finals with victory over Wellington Phoenix on Sunday, after a troubled campaign plagued by inconsistent performances, fan dissatisfaction and talk of player unrest.
Arnold was close to joining Sydney as head coach in 2012, but opted to stick with the Mariners before guiding the club to their first-ever A-League championship.
Newcastle Jets are also in the market for a new coach, with Clayton Zane currently occupying the role on an interim basis following Gary van Egmond’s exit in January.
Zane’s Jets appear destined to miss the finals, denting his prospects of taking the job permanently.
A return to Central Coast’s top coaching job appears unlikely for Arnold. Phil Moss has guided the club to 12 wins, three draws and 10 losses in 25 matches since taking over from Arnold in November.
The Mariners suffered a five-game losing streak in February, which prompted fears of missing the finals but have steadied and currently sit third on the A-League table.1 comment