President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick has confirmed that they held talks with Roma manager, Jose Mourinho, as they search for a new Super Eagles head coach.
Pinnick revealed this during a media parley with sports journalists in Lagos on Wednesday.
The NFF boss also said the national team would get a new coach “within the next week or so”.
Austin Eguavoen was appointed on an interim basis, after Gernot Rohr was sacked earlier this month.
But the federation is in advanced negotiations for a permanent replacement for Rohr.
“We have spoken to three top coaches. Peseiro, whose name has been going around, is one of them and I can tell you he is a top coach.
“We also talked to Mladen (Krstajic). But after talking to him, he got a job with a top club in Israel with Maccabi Tel Aviv.
“They are coaches who the players cannot be bigger than. I believe we are doing everything we can and that’s why we interface with the ministry on every level.
“Of course Mourinho, I am not going to tell you we didn’t talk to Mourinho because we did and the (sports) minister also talked to Mourinho and there is nothing wrong with it,” Pinnick said.
Pinnick refused to mention the coach who will manage the Eagles at the AFCON but noted that the new coach must guarantee to win the 2022 Nations Cup.
He added, “If the coach will give us the Nations Cup, he will be drafted in immediately. I am not going to tell you that it will be later, because of what essence is the recruitment? If the executive committee says yes and we are ready, what are we waiting for?
“When I spoke with one of the coaches on Tuesday, he was already scouting our players and was telling me things I didn’t even know about our players. It was quite impressive and he told me the strength of each player and he took me off guard. We are not going to experiment and if he can win the Nations Cup, no problem.”
I was also reported that Nigeria’s new coach, whose identity is still being kept under wraps, was recommended by Mourinho.