Ghana’s hunt to find a replacement for outgoing coach Avram Grant could soon be at an end, with French media reports suggesting that ex-France defender Willy Sagnol is close to being appointed as Black Stars boss. The former full-back, who last managed Girondins de Bordeaux until his dismissal in March, is in “advanced” with the Ghana Football Association according to a report by respected sports newspaper L’Equipe.
The French source suggest that the retired international has visited Ghana within the last couple of days in order to visit one of the nation’s academies.
They report that negotiations between Sagnol and the federation are progressing well, with both parties looking to put pen to paper on a two-year deal.
Grant was appointed as Ghana boss ahead of the 2015 Nations Cup, and despite guiding the Black Stars to an unexpected final berth in that year, he subsequently struggled to build on that momentum.
Despite taking eventual champions Cote d’Ivoire to penalties in Equatorial Guinea, Grant struggled to find the right blend for his time during the rest of 2015 and 2016.
He helped the Black Stars reach the Afcon in Gabon earlier this year, but qualification for the 2018 World Cup is in jeopardy after underwhelming results against Egypt and Uganda.
The GFA are understood to be keen to appoint a young coach as Grant’s successor, and 39-year-old Sagnol—who won 59 caps for France—would appear to fit the bill.
The Saint-Etienne-born coach represented his hometown club and AS Monaco before joining Bayern Munich in 2000. He saw out his career with the Bavarians, playing for nine years and winning five Bundesligas and the Champions League in 2001.
He was a World Cup runner-up in 2006, and won the Confederations Cup in both 2001 and 2003