Former Romania coach Victor Piturca is set to return to the job, four years after being fired, a Romania soccer federation (FRF) official said on Tuesday.

Professional League boss and FRF vice-president Dumitru Dragomir said: “Piturca is now the sole candidate. His official appointment is expected later this week.’

Anghel Iordanescu resigned earlier this month after a 1-1 draw against Armenia in a World Cup qualifier. Romania also lost 1-0 against the Czech Republic in October.

Earlier this month the FRF named four candidates for the post but Dragomir said Galatasaray’s Gheorghe Hagi, Laszlo Boloni of Nantes and Shakhtar Donetsk’s Mircea Lucescu had all said they wanted to stay with their clubs.

Piturca took Romania to the 2000 European Championship finals without losing before he was unexpectedly fired following a rebellion from some key players. He has been out of work after severing his ties with Steaua Bucharest earlier this year.

He confirmed he had already had talks with the FRF, adding: “I was the last coach who qualified Romania for a major event. I hope to be the first to do it again.”

Romania failed to qualify for the 2002 World Cup and the 2004 European Championship under coaches Hagi and then Iordanescu respectively.

In the 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign Romania are second on goal difference behind the Netherlands in Group One.

Romania host the Netherlands on 26 March 26 next year and travel to Macedonia four days later.