Writer: Arab Jacques
Date:Thursday January 18 2007
Dundee United manager Craig Levein has given his backing to Alex McLeish as the next Scotland boss.
The former Rangers manager is tipped to be the SFA's first choice for the vacant Scotland job, but they are still hoping to interview several candidates for the job - with Levein's name being mentioned.
However, Dundee United are hopeful that they can convince Levein to stay at Tannadice and not be lured into managing the International team just yet.
Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland before the Scottish Cup match against St Mirren, Levein said "It looks like Alex McLeish is the favourite for it and I think he is the best man for the job."
The SFA are keen to get the new International manager in place as soon as possible, so it doesn't have too detrimental an effect on Scotland's chances of qualifying for Euro 2008.
So far around 50 managers have been linked with Walter Smith's former job, with Scotland Chief Executive David Taylor admitting last week that the SFA weren't expecting so much interest.
"We've been overwhelmed with the level of interest. Four or five serious candidates have already contacted me directly," said David Taylor last week.
"Our first task on Monday will be to whittle down the numbers and draw up a shortlist of around half-a-dozen serious contenders. Alex McLeish, Gary McAllister and Tommy Burns will be discussed, among others."
Although, Craig Levein admitted on Tuesday that he hasn't yet been called up for an interview at Hampden, but if the speculation is right, its only a matter of time..
Levein said, "I haven't had any contact yet..."
Meanwhile, Kilmarnock are not happy with suggestions that their manager is also in the running and have warned the SFA they will have to pay compensation if they want Jim Jeffries.
"I'm sure the SFA will want to go through the proper channels on this. If they ask to speak to Jim, we would not block them from doing that," said chairman Michael Johnston.
"I think open dialogue is better in these cases, but if he were leave - then we would be looking for significant compensation from the SFA, as Jim is under contract to us for more than two years."
Date:Thursday January 18 2007
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