Bert van Marwijk looks likely to become Hamburg's new coach after telling Dutch TV he's reached an agreement with the club. The announcement came hours before Hamburg reportedly spoke with Swiss coach Christian Gross.
The appointment of Bert van Marwijk looks likely after he told Netherlands broadcaster NOS that he was joining Hamburg. He is expected in the city on Sunday.
"Hamburg called me right after the dismissal of Thorsten Fink. We got together during the week. I said what I can offer. They told me what they want," van Marwijk said during the interview late Saturday night. "The contract runs for two years with the option of a one year extension."
"Hamburg is a fantastic city. The club have a magnificent team with a great tradition and a beautiful stadium," he added. "I am going to Hamburg Sunday morning."
Hamburg's director of sport, Oliver Kreuzer, had told German broadcaster Sky on Saturday that the club were in talks with van Marwijk, but he wouldn't confirm his appointment.
Van Marwijk reiterated the likelihood of his getting the job to Sky on Sunday.
"I had good talks with [Hamburg] and there should be no more problems," he said, adding that "nothing is signed yet."
Gross to swoop in?
Hours after it seemed certain that van Marwijk would take the job, Sky reported that Kreuzer flew to Zurich to speak speak with Christian Gross about Hamburg's vacancy. The 59-year-old Gross previously had stints at Stuttgart and English club Tottenham.
Van Marwijk told Sky he wasn't aware of Hamburg's negotiations with Gross.
"I cant say anything about that," he said.
Club in free fall
Head coach Thorsten Fink was fired on Tuesday after nearly two years at the helm. The club have suffered a disastrous start to the season, with just one win and a draw from their first six matches, including an embarrassing 6-2 defeat away to Borussia Dortmund.
Interim coach Rodolfo Cardoso oversaw the team's 2-0 loss to rivals Werder Bremen in the northern derby on Saturday.
At Hamburg, van Marwijk would reunite with midfielder Rafael van der Vaart. The two worked together when van Marwijk was manager of the Netherlands national team from 2008 to 2012.
"I know Bert van Marwijk from the national squad, he is a good coach, I can't say enough good things about him," said the Hamburg captain van der Vaart on Friday.
Close but no cigar
As national team manager van Marwijk guided the Netherlands to the 2010 World Cup final, where they fell 1-0 to Spain in extra time. He resigned from his post after Euro 2012, where the Dutch disappointingly exited in the group stage without a single point.
The 61-year-old previously coached Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga from 2004 to 2006. However, he never managed to finish higher than seventh with the club and was replaced midway through the 2006-07 season.
Van Marwijk would the third Dutchman to coach Hamburg fulltime after Martin Jol (2008-09) and Huub Stevens (2007-2008).
dr/tj (dpa, SID, AFP)