IRAN - Carlos Queiroz has backtracked on his decision to quit as Iran coach and is negotiating an extension through to the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Iranian media reported.
The Mozambique-born coach said after Iran's group stage exit at the World Cup in Brazil last month he would quit the three-times Asian champions.
But the former Real Madrid, Portugal and South Africa coach is close to signing a new deal that would see him lead the team at the 2015 Asian Cup in Australia in January.
"We have to negotiate about the contract in the details. I wish to stay as Iran coach," Queiroz told the Tehran Times. "The Iranians will always stay in my heart. I like to continue my job but the deal has not yet finalised." The paper said the deal would be completed on Aug. 1.
Queiroz took over in 2011 and helped Iran qualify for their fourth World Cup by instilling steely defence and cleverly scouring the Iranian diaspora for attacking players.
It wasn't enough to progress to the knockout stages of a World Cup for the first time, as they exited following a draw with Nigeria and losses to Argentina and Bosnia.
The 61-year-old had said he would step down reluctantly as he hadn't received a concrete offer from the Iranian Federation. "I fell in love with them (the players). But you can't have a marriage when only one person wants to stay married," he said after the 3-1 loss to Bosnia.
Finances were believed to be part of the reason Queiroz had not been offered a new deal, though Iran were awarded $8 million (S$10 million) in prize money for competing in Brazil.