MOSCOW/ROME: Fabio Capello has said he would be “happy” and “proud” to take over as national coach of 2018 World Cup hosts Russia if the reported offer is confirmed by the Russian Football Union, as expected writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

The 66-year-old Italian was one of a dozen high-profile candidates for the post, which was vacated by PSV Eindhoven-bound Dick Advocaat after Euro 2012. Capello is apparently being offered a two-year deal, taking him through the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.

“If everything is concluded in the best possible way, as the news from the Russian Federation, I will be happy and proud,” Capello was quoted as saying in the Italian media. “I believe if all goes well as defined by the contract, this will be a wonderful adventure, Russia is a great nation.”

Sports minister Vitaly Mutko, taking temporary executive charge after the resignation of Sergey Fursenko as RFU president, had said   Russia would settle on the next coach by Friday.

If confirmed, Capello’s first game in charge would be August 15 friendly against the Ivory Coast in Moscow. He has been unemployed since February, when he quit as England manager after four years in charge, in protest at the decision of the FA to remove his choice, John Terry, as national captain without having consulted him

Capello won the Champions League and the Italian and Spanish titles in spells with AC Milan, Juventus, AS Roma and Real Madrid.

Ex-Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola, former Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp and ex-Inter Milan and Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez had all ben included on the original 13-candidate ‘long list’ under consideration by the RFU.

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