Former England and Mexico manager Sven-Goran Eriksson is to fly to Asia to discuss a the possibility of coaching North Korea at next year’s World Cup finals.
Eriksson is to fly to Beijing with his current employer, Notts County chief executive Peter Trembling, to negotiate a potential loan deal to manage the North Koreans through their first finals since 1966.
A source close to the deal confirmed that the trip to east Asia is going ahead and did not deny that Eriksson’s management of the world’s 90th-ranked team was under discussion. North Korea’s embassy in London suggested there might be an announcement in “two or three weeks”.
Eriksson has already attracted headlines this season following his decision to join the ambitious League Two club as part of Notts County’s wealthy, secretive new owners’ proposed overhaul of the club.
North Korea coach Kim Jong-hun is under fire over concerns his team’s playing style isn’t good enough to challenge in South Africa next June, despite negotiating his side through the Asian zone qualifiers.
Pak Doo-ik, who famously scored the goal in the 1-0 defeat of Italy in 1966 that took North Korea to the quarter-finals, believes the 5-4-1 formation favoured by Kim is flawed.
“Despite reaching the World Cup, we are still far from becoming a world-class team,” he has said. “We will have our work cut out and there are still huge areas in which to improve, including in defence, creating chances and putting them away.”
Eriksson has been to the last two World Cups with England, guiding his team to the quarter final stage in 2002 and 2006.