Sheffield Wednesday
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By ESPN Staff

Advocaat set to take over as Belgium coach

Zenit St Petersburg coach Dick Advocaat is set to take charge of Belgium from the start of next year, Belgian Football Association Chairman Francois De Keersmaecker said.

De Keersmaecker told the public broadcaster VRT on Friday evening that Advocaat, 61, would take over on Jan. 1 when his contract with Russian club Zenit expired.

"There is a contract ready until the European championships in 2012. If we have qualified after those two years then it would automatically be extended by half a year," he said.

A Belgian FA spokesman said on Saturday a proposal had been put to Advocaat.

"Mr Advocaat is the leading candidate. We have put a proposal to him and we are expecting a yes or a no by the end of the month," he said.

De Keersmaecker told the top-selling newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws that he was very confident Advocaat would sign.

"There is a financial deal, a basic contract has been drawn up and it is simply a matter of details for which the deal can no longer fall through," he said in Saturday's paper.

Belgium have a slim hope only of making it to the 2010 World Cup, standing fourth in European Group Five, 11 points behind runaway leaders Spain with four games left. The 2002 World Cup was the last time they qualified for a major championship.

Advocaat, nicknamed the "Little General", led Zenit to the UEFA Cup and European Super Cup double last year. He has previously coached the Netherlands, South Korea and United Arab Emirates.

He was also in charge of PSV Eindhoven, winning the Dutch league and Cup, and Rangers where he won two Scottish Premier League titles.

Belgian media have reported that Advocaat was keen on a move to Belgium to be nearer family and friends and that he would earn €600,000 a year.


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