The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) will be re-interviewing the candidates for the role of the Super Eagles manager on the orders of the federal ministry for youth and sports.
According to sources, former Venezuela manager Jose Peseiro, who the NFF parted ways with a few months ago after a verbal agreement, had come back into contention for the job and was the leading candidate to succeed Gernot Rohr.
However, the minister for youth and sports of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mr Sunday Dare, is reported to be unconvinced about the Portuguese manager's portfolio. He has now demanded that every candidate for the role be interviewed again.
It is understood that the federal government will take charge of the new manager's salary when he is decided upon. This is to prevent a repeat of the issue which is currently before, where Rohr is contesting with the NFF over unpaid $1 million in arrears.
Mr Dare, whose ministry will be in charge of taking care of the manager's financial remuneration, wants to be sure of the person who the government will be investing in, according to a close associate of his, Wale Ajayi.
It is also understood that Peseiro's financial demands are not as much as the other candidates which is why the NFF is tending towards appointing him. Mr Dare, who is unconvinced about Peseiro, has told the NFF that he wants the NFF to get the best manager and not the cheapest as the federal government will be footing the bills.
The other candidates are former Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde, former PSV Eindhoven manager Philip Cocu, and former France national team manager Laurent Blanc.
Meanwhile, Nigeria will be led to the 2023 African Cup of Nations qualifiers in June by caretaker manager Salisu Yusuf, who is in his second stint at the head of the Super Eagles dugout. They have been drawn against Sierra Leone, Sao Tome and Principe/Mauritius and Guinea Bissau.
The Super Eagles will kickstart their qualifiers at home against Sierra Leone and the NFF is expected to have employed the new manager ahead of the next international break later in the year.
The squad for the upcoming qualifiers and friendly matches will be announced in a week's time, and Nigerians will be happy to find out that Belgian-born striker Cyriel Dessers could make it back into the squad.
Dessers got his Nigerian debut in 2019 after switching nationalities from Belgium to Nigeria. He played only a few minutes of a friendly game and has not received another call-up since then.
He has continued to impress, however. This season, he has taken Feyenoord Rotterdam, where he is on loan from Belgian club KRC Genk, to the final of the maiden edition of the UEFA European Conference League with his 10 goals, the most in the competition.
A source close to the caretaker manager and his technical team said, “It's a no brainer. He will be in the team list when it is released next week. If we want to be honest, he hasn't shown what it takes to be a big player for the Super Eagles, but he is back in the team.”
This article was most recently revised and updated 9 months ago