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By ESPN Staff

Brazil told to stay away from Luxemburgo

RIO DE JANEIRO, July 4 (Reuters) - Santos said that they want Vanderlei Luxemburgo, widely tipped to take over as coach of Brazil following their World Cup exit, to stay at the club for another 18 months.

Pele's former club said they expect the controversial former Real Madrid coach to see out his contract, which runs until the end of next year.

Defending champions Brazil lost 1-0 to France in Saturday's quarter-final in Frankfurt and coach Carlos Alberto Parreira remained tight-lipped about his future after returning home on Monday.

If Parreira resigns or is fired, Luxemburgo, who had an unhappy stint in charge of Brazil between 1998 and 2000, would be the favourite to take over again.

'We've made medium-term plans, with considerable investments, and with total harmony between the directors of the club and the coaching staff, and these plans will be concluded over a two-year period,' said Santos president Marcelo Teixeira on the club's official website.

'We cannot allow the interruption of this planning, which would cause us great (financial) losses.'

He added that he did not expect Luxemburgo, who left the club at the end of 2004 to join Real Madrid where he was sacked 11 months later, to break his contract.

Luxemburgo had just led Santos to the 2004 Brazilian championship when he was appointed by Real with the approval of Santos.

'With the excellent understanding and high degree of professionalism that exists today between the club and all members of the coaching staff as well as the friendship, respect and commitment to the club, I don't believe there would be a unilateral breaking of the contract,' Teixeira added.

'I have a lot of confidence in the continuation of the work.'

Luxemburgo has won the Brazilian championship five times with four different clubs and is regarded as the country's top coach.

However, his two years as Brazil coach were marked by poor results and he was fired after the under-23 team, which he also coached, were knocked out of the 2000 Olympics by nine-man Cameroon.

Luxemburgo is coaching Santos for the third time. His first spell ended in controversy in 1997 when he walked out on the club to take over at Corinthians.

Other candidates for the Brazil coach, if Parreira leaves, include Luiz Felipe Scolari and Paulo Autuori.

Scolari led Brazil to their fifth world title in 2002 and is currently in charge of Portugal, who have reached the semi-finals in Germany and face France on Wednesday.

Autuori won the World Club Championship with Sao Paulo last year and has also coached Peru.