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 By John Duerden

South Korea warn media against manager speculation; Louis van Gaal, Andre Villas-Boas linked

The Korea Football Association (KFA) has warned domestic media that speculation over the potential arrival of big name bosses such as Louis van Gaal, Andre Villas-Boas and Luiz Felipe Scolari could harm the search for a new national team coach.

The KFA announced that it is are looking at a list of fewer than 10 possible replacements for Shin Tae-yong should they decide not to offer the 49-year-old a new contract following their World Cup group stage exit.

They denied making any contact with such names and is blaming the South Korean media for parroting speculation that originated from overseas.

"These rumours have come through foreign media to be reported by the domestic media," the KFA said in an statement released on Monday. "Not only does this cause confusion among fans, it can have a negative impact on negotiations that take place with genuine candidates."

The KFA added that there will be no more statements, asking that until a decision is made, media refrain from reporting rumours from overseas.

Reports in South America and Europe have suggested that a big name could be heading to Seoul with Van Gaal, Villas-Boas, Scolari and Vahid Halilhodzic at the top of the KFA's rumoured list.

Scolari and Villas-Boas have recent experience in China, while Halilhodzic was fired by Japan in April.

Shin Tae-yong became manager in July 2017, and despite leading the team to victory over Germany at the 2018 World Cup, South Korea still headed home after the group stage.

Kim Pan-gon, head of the KFA's technical committee that oversees national team affairs, said on Thursday that Shin will be evaluated against other potential candidates and could still stay on as manager.

"We will regard Shin Tae-yong as one of the candidates, and he'll be up against other candidates being considered," Kim said. "We will interview these candidates and compare each one of them with Shin before we name the coach."

Kim outlined some of the philosophies that are driving the KFA's search.

"We have to play an active style of football, using penetration and forward passing, with stamina at the foundation," he said. "And the coach should produce results that befit our national team's status."

South Korea are hoping to have a coach in place by September when the national team has a number of friendlies as preparations start for January's Asian Cup.

Asian expert John Duerden is the author of Lions and Tigers: Story of Football in Singapore and Malaysia.Twitter: @JohnnyDuerden.

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