SEOUL - Bert van Marwijk, who led the Netherlands to the 2010 World Cup final, is interested in taking over as coach of South Korea's national team and negotiations are set to conclude next week, the head of the KFA's technical committee said on Thursday.
Lee Yong-soo told reporters in Seoul he had flown to the Netherlands earlier this week and held a meeting with Van Marwijk, who has also managed Dutch side Feyenoord and German teams Borussia Dortmund and Hamburg SV.
Hong Myung-bo resigned as coach in July after South Korea's woeful World Cup campaign in Brazil, where they earned only one point and finished bottom of their group. "I met with coach Van Marwijk and heard from him that he is interested in South Korea's football team," said Lee, who also headed the committee in 2002 when Guus Hiddink coached the Koreans to fourth place at the World Cup on home soil. "We talked for an hour and 50 minutes .... There was no concrete result but we've confirmed his interest." Lee, who said last week the committee had narrowed their shortlist to three foreign coaches, added that Van Marwijk was the only candidate they had spoken to so far. "Negotiations with Van Marwijk will be finishing up in a week," said Lee.
If appointed, Van Marwijk would become South Korea's fifth Dutch coach following Hiddink, Jo Bonfrere, Dick Advocaat and Pim Verbeek.
Verbeek was the last foreigner to coach Korea, resigning after leading them to third place at the 2007 Asian Cup.
South Korea hope to have the new coach in place for September friendlies against Venezuela and Uruguay and he will have little time to make his mark on the team before the 2015 Asian Cup in Australia in January.
Van Marwijk has the kind of experience deemed the number one priority by the KFA.
In addition to taking the Netherlands to the final of the World Cup in South Africa four years ago, where they lost 1-0 to Spain, he has also coached in the Dutch top flight as well as the Bundesliga in Germany.
However, things have not going smoothly since 2010.
The 62-year-old left the Dutch job after they lost all three of their games at Euro 2012 and he was sacked by Hamburg in February after just 143 days in charge.
Van Marwijk had taken over last September when Hamburg were already struggling in 16th place but was fired after a run of seven league defeats.