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By ESPN Staff

Lopes in talks to take charge of Ivory Coast

Brazilian coach Antonio Lopes has revealed he is in talks to take over as Ivory Coast boss.

The 67-year-old, who is a free agent after coaching Vasco da Gama last season, is hopeful of landing the job despite admitting there are two other candidates.

He told "We are negotiating. I have talked with the government people as they are the ones in charge of the national squad.

"I am very thrilled because Ivory Coast have great players and they will not have problems qualifying for the World Cup.

"This could be a great chance to take part in a World Cup again," added Lopes, who was a member of Brazil's coaching team during the 2002 World Cup.

Lopes previously worked with Ivory Coast in 1988 as a consultant during the African Nations Cup played in Morocco.

He added: "I do not know the reasons why the FA (Federation Ivoirienne de Football) want to sack current coach Vahid Halilhodzic from his post.

"A player from my last spell there is now a board member and was the one who put me among the candidates.

"A business man, who is directing the talks, already heard my proposal but he told me two European bosses are also in contention. I hope everything will go to plan," he added.

Lopes won the Campeonato Brasileiro in 2005 with Corinthians and the 1998 Copa Libertadores with Vasco.


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