22.01.2018 23:46 h

Sydney FC coach rules out Socceroos gig in Russia

Leading local contender Graham Arnold has ruled himself out of taking the Socceroos to the World Cup in Russia, but kept the door open to coaching Australia in the future.

Arnold was one of the main candidates to replace Ange Postecoglou, who quit in November after the Socceroos beat Honduras in an intercontinental play-off to qualify for Russia 2018.

The coach of A-League side Sydney FC, Arnold had worked under the Socceroos' Dutch coaches Guus Hiddink and Pim Verbeek and managed the team during the 2007 Asian Cup.

Sydney FC said late Monday the 54-year-old would remain at the club "for at least the 2017/18 A-League regular season and finals series", which ends in early May.

"I am committed to Sydney FC and 100 percent focused on seeing out this season and winning two more trophies for this great club," Arnold said in a statement.

"I can confirm I will not be coaching the Socceroos in Russia."

Sydney chairman Scott Barlow added that Arnold and the club would also continue discussions about the coach's long-term plans.

Local media has reported that governing body the Football Federation Australia (FFA) appeared to favour a foreign coach for a short-term stint to shepherd the Socceroos through the World Cup in June-July.

An FFA delegation including chief executive David Gallop left Sydney Sunday for Europe to interview possible candidates, with an announcement due by mid-February.

Top names that have been raised include Dutch coaches Bert van Marwijk and Louis Van Gaal, former Manchester City and current Zenit St Petersburg manager Roberto Mancini, and ex-American and German coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

The Socceroos were drawn in Group C of the World Cup together with France, Denmark and Peru, with their first game against Les Bleus on June 16.