Hitzfeld to coach Switzerland after Euro 2008

February 4, 2008

The Swiss Football Association (ASF) are expected to appoint Ottmar Hitzfeld as Kobi Kuhn's successor as Switzerland coach by the end of February.

The Bayern Munich boss, who will make way for Jurgen Klinsmann at the Allianz Arena in the summer - the same time Kuhn steps down from his post - held talks with federation officials yesterday.

Kuhn's side take on England at Wembley on Wednesday night as they continue their preparations for Euro 2008.

The game will be Fabio Capello's first in charge of England - and Hitzfeld's appointment would be an even greater coup for the ASF than the Italian's was for the English Football Association.

The 59-year-old's appointment could even be sorted out by the end of the month to let Kuhn focus on Euro 2008 and Hitzfeld on Bayern's Bundesliga title run-in without distractions.

ASF president Ralph Zloczower told Swiss newspaper Blick: 'Then (at the end of February) we will reveal further information.'

The Swiss FA confirmed their meeting with the Bayern coach on Sunday in a statement on their official website.

'On Sunday afternoon, Ottmar Hitzfeld met with the president of the ASF Ralph Zloczower, the president of the SFL (Swiss Football League) Peter Stadelmann and national team delegate Ernst Lammli,' the statement read.

'They had a constructive discussion. Hitzfeld and the ASF's delegation were in agreement over the essential points.

'The governing bodies of Swiss football (the ASF and SFL) will now be informed so that the necessary decisions can be taken. Nothing else will be said about the contents of the discussion.'

Hitzfeld has made no secret of his desire to try his hand at international management when he leaves Bayern.

He earlier told the Suddeutsche Zeitung: 'I believe to have an experience of being a national coach would be a huge honour: to represent a country, to train a team towards a definite target and to qualify them for the 2010 World Cup.'

Hitzfeld has been heavily linked with the top job in Switzerland, having started his coaching career there with FC Zug in 1983 before moving on to FC Aarau and Grasshoppers.

He won five trophies in Switzerland to earn a move to the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund.

Hitzfeld would almost certainly become the highest paid coach in Swiss history if his expected appointment goes through.

He earns around £2.7million a year at the Bavarian giants, streets ahead of the £330,000 euros Kuhn is reported to rake in.

Zloczower stressed last November though the ASF would not break the bank to get their man.

He told the SonntagsZeitung: 'The new coach has to fit into the budget of the Swiss Football Association.'