President of the French Football federation, Claude Simonet will decide next week who is to succeed Roger Lemerre as France’s national coach.

Lemerre was sacked after France failed to progress beyong the group stage at the World Cup, losing two of their three games and scoring no goals.

The shortlist of candidates has been whittled down to four names: Raymond Domenech, Jacques Santini, Rene Girard and Philippe Troussier.

Speculation over the appointment has been intense, but Simonet will be interviewing these candidates next Wednesday and making a decision shortly after.

Two candidates have current involvement with the national set-up. Domenech , capped eight times for France, becamea coach in 1985 and since 2000 has been in charge of France’s Under-21 squad. The second candidate, Girard, coached Strasbourg at one point and was Lemerre’s assisant.

Troussier, now out-of-contract, guided Japan to the knock-out stages of the World Cup for the first time in their history. His previous managerial experience spans a decade with various clubs in Africa.

Jacques Santini has only just emerged as a real candidate for the position, which is not surprising considering his success at Lyon last season, guiding the club to their first Championshiptitle. Santini has also coached at Toulouse, Sochaux and Saint Etienne, where he was a player in the seventies.