KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 27, 2014 (AFP) - World Cup-winning former French international Marcel Desailly has expressed interest in coaching Malaysia, according to a report Thursday, saying he hoped to instill a "winning mentality" in the poor-performing national squad.
Desailly, 45, who won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 title as a stifling defender for "Les Bleus", said he has been in talks with officials from the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM), the New Straits Times reported.
"I am ready to coach," the Ghanaian-born Desailly was quoted as saying in Kuala Lumpur while attending a ceremony to announce nominees for the prestigious Laureus Awards for sport.
"I hope I can bring a winning mentality to Malaysia."
Desailly, formerly with AC Milan and Chelsea, last played with Qatar Sports Club until 2006.
Malaysia have been looking for a coach since December to replace K. Rajagopal, a Malaysian, whose contract ended.
A FAM official told AFP he was unaware of any negotiations and others could not immediately be reached.
Discussions with another Frenchman, former Japan coach Philippe Troussier, fell through earlier this year after he and FAM failed to agree on terms.
Football officials have tried to boost the Malaysian game with recent foreign signings such as former Argentine international Pablo Aimar, who now plays for local side Johor Darul Takzim.
Match-fixing and other problems have long tainted Malaysian football. In recent months FAM has fined 23 players from Kuala Lumpur's domestic-league side and three officials for match-fixing. The officials and five of the players were also banned for life.
Malaysia rank 150th in the world and 28th in Asia, according to FIFA. At its best, the team ranked 75th in 1993.