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Lagerback emerges as front-runner for Wales job

Former Sweden and Nigeria coach Lars Lagerback is being tipped to land the Wales job vacated by John Toshack.

Toshack stepped down in September after six years in the job and his assistant Brian Flynn led the team on a caretaker basis in recent Euro 2012 qualifying defeats to Bulgaria and Switzerland.

The likes of Ryan Giggs, John Hartson Terry Venables and Ian Rush have been linked with the post, but Lagerback is now thought to be the leading candidate.

And the Swedish boss, who led Nigeria at the 2010 World Cup finals, admitted that he would be interested in managaing Wales.

"On paper it's an interesting job... you want to know about how they look upon the job and the organisation around the job," he told BBC Sport Wales. "It's a lot... if they are interested, but we'll have to wait and see."

"The first time I spoke with anyone was in Madrid, when UEFA had the conference after the World Cup, I met the technical director and Ian Rush and we talk a little bit about Welsh football.

"It was shortly after... Mr Toshack had decided to stop as manager, so they said of course that the job was open now for discussions. I spoke to the CEO, Mr Ford, for the first time today [Wednesday] actually."

Lagerback coached Sweden from 2000-2009, helping the Scandinavians qualify for Euro 2000, 2004 and 2008, plus the 2002 and 2006 World Cup finals, before resigning after failing to lead them to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Should he land the role, Lagerback would become the first non-British coach of Wales, and Sven Goran Eriksson, the man who became England's first foreign boss in 2001, believes his compatriot would be an excellent choice.

"I would recommend him [Lagerback]. He's a very good man," Eriksson said. "Everyone who knows international football will know him, that's for sure. He was the Swedish coach for many, many years and during the last World Cup he had [coached] Nigeria.

"And with Sweden he did very, very well qualifying for almost all the tournaments. He's very ambitious and a very kind man and he knows his football, of course. And he knows international football very, very well.

"With Sweden, many times he played 4-4-2 like a diamond, but I think he's clever enough to see what kind of players he has and which system he will use."


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