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By ESPN Staff

Hiddink to extend Russia contract through 2010

MOSCOW -- Guus Hiddink has agreed in principle to extend his contract as Russia coach through 2010, ending speculation the Dutchman would coach elsewhere in the near future, he said on Saturday.

Hiddink told Reuters he had met Russian FA chief Vitaly Mutko on the eve of Wednesday's Euro 2008 qualifier against England in London to discuss his future.

"I had a talk with Mr Mutko and although we didn't go into the contract details because I wanted to concentrate on the England game, we have decided to continue our relationship for another two years through 2010," Hiddink said in a telephone interview from the Netherlands.

"I've made no secret of my desire to continue. Since day one I've enjoyed my job with Russia, enjoyed living in Moscow and enjoyed working with the Russian players," he added.

"I think we have started an important job of building a new team and it's very important to continue the process. I'm really looking forward to achieving even greater things with Russia."

Russia had been undefeated under Hiddink for over a year until England beat them 3-0 at Wembley, severely denting their hopes of reaching next year's finals from a tight Group E.

Russia are third, five points behind leaders Croatia and two adrift of England with three matches remaining.

Hiddink said he wanted to stay in the job whether Russia qualified for the Euro 2008 finals or not.

"Of course we want to qualify, but even if we miss out I'm not planning to leave Russia," said the Dutchman, who has been linked with coaching England as well as several top European clubs in the past.

The hugely successful 60-year-old led the Netherlands and South Korea to the World Cup semi-finals in 1998 and 2002 respectively.

Russian media has reported that Hiddink earns more than two million euros ($2.78 million) a year in Russia. The Dutchman's salary package is paid for by Chelsea's billionaire owner Roman Abramovich through his National Academy Fund.