Speculation is growing that former star striker Jürgen Klinsmann will take over the vacant coaching job for Germany's national soccer team. He would lead the squad into the 2006 World Cup being held in Germany.
Germany's new coach?
The president of the German football federation (DFB), Gerhard Mayer-Vorfelder, held talks with Klinsmann in New York on Tuesday "to discuss the future planning for staffing of the national team," a DFB spokesman said on Wednesday.
Although it was not yet certain Klinsmann would take over from Rudi Völler, who resigned last month after Germany's miserable Euro 2004 campaign, he expressed his desire to help the national team get back on its feet.
"The World Cup is the most important sporting event of the past 40 years in Germany. It's obvious that I'll help the DFB, independently of the post," Klinsmann said.
The 39-year-old former VfB Stuttgart, Inter Milan and Tottenham star, who won the World Cup in 1990, currently runs a sports marketing company in California. He holds a training license but does not have any professional coaching experience.
Bierhoff as manager
But according to media reports, Klinsmann was now the frontrunner for the top coaching spot and another former star striker, Oliver Bierhoff, is set to fill the newly created position of team manager. Bierhoff, who is known to be a close friend of Klinsmann, has already expressed his interest working with him.
German soccer star Oliver Bierhoff
"If Jürgen will agree to be coach, then I can imagine the job will be a lot of fun -- that would be a good model," Bierhoff said according to the Associated Press.
Klinsmann has also been a vocal critic of the DFB's recent disorganization and bumbling in trying to find a replacement for Völler. After ex-Bayern Munich coach Ottmar Hitzfeld balked at taking the job, German soccer officials have flailed about embarrassingly in their search.
Euro 2004-winning Greece coach Otto Rehhagel said he'd serve out his contract with the Greeks and the DFB has been reluctant to sign a foreign coach like Dutchman Guus Hiddink and Dane Morten Olsen.
Most observers believe a Klinsmann-Bierhoff tandem would be an elegant solution, which would represent a fresh start for the national squad. Both are know for their intelligence and international experience that could serve Germany well as it hosts the sport's biggest event in 2006.