Santini approached to be Tunisia coach

April 24, 2008

TUNIS, April 24 (Reuters) - Tunisia have approached former France manager Jacques Santini to take over as their new national team coach, reports said on Thursday.

He is to be offered a contract in the next days, the state-run La Presse newspaper said.

The approach to the 55-year-old Santini, who won France's Ligue 1 with Olympique Lyon in 2002 but had brief and unsuccessful spell at English club Tottenham Hotspur in 2004, follows a breakdown in talks with previous candidate Bertrand Marchand.

Frenchman Marchand, coach of African champions Etoile Sahel, had been named by the Tunisian Football Federation as their preferred candidate but they were unable to agree terms.

The Tunisia job became vacant after the decision not to renew the contract of another former France manager Roger Lemerre, who had been in the post for almost six years.

The new coach will have just weeks to prepare before Tunisia start their 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign. They play four Group Nine games in June against Burkina Faso, the Seychelles and Burundi, who they face twice.