Laudrup confirms Japan interest in his services

Michael Laudrup has confirmed the Japanese Football Association wants him to coach their national team, but the Dane will not leave Lekhwiya until the end of the season.

Laudrup did not rule out coaching Japan but with an AFC Champions League campaign starting next week with Lekhwiya, plus his team sitting just one point behind leaders Al Sadd in the Stars League table, the 50-year-old is not interested in leaving Qatar early.

This season is Laudrup's first with Lekhwiya after he was sacked by Swansea in February 2014, while he has also previously coached Mallorca, Getafe and Brondby.

"In a week we will also start the group stage of the Champions League so there will be a lot of games in the near future," Laudrup told Kyodo News.

"I am aware of the interest from Japan but as I just said, we have a lot of games coming up and they have, absolutely, first priority at the moment.

"Then when the season finishes in May, I will think about my future.

"It could be here in Lekhwiya or somewhere else."

The JFA are still looking for a new coach after sacking Javier Aguirre following Japan's quarter-final exit at the Asian Cup in January.

Aguirre's alleged involvement in match-fixing during his time in charge of Real Zaragoza in La Liga was the reason for Japan's decision.

Laudrup is believed to be one of five names on the JFA's shortlist to replace Aguirre.