In their search for a new coach of the national team, Russian soccer federation officials interviewed Fabio Capello on Thursday. He is one of 13 candidates that also include ex-Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola, Rafael Benitez and Harry Redknapp.
"They received Capello today. They conducted negotiations," Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko was quoted as saying by the RIA Novosti news agency. "From here, we move on to the next candidate," Mutko added. "I think that over the course of a week -- certainly by next Tuesday -- all the consultations with the managers on our list... will be held."
Capello's name, who left his post as England manager in February, has sparked the greatest interest. He is rumored to be the Russian federation's first choice and Mutkto added to the buzz by putting the Italian on a par with Guus Hiddink, who is a revered figure after leading Russia to the European Championship semifinals four years ago. The post went vacant last month when Dick Advocaat departed following Russia's failure to advance out of a tepid group at Euro 2012.
"When we were making a decision on Hiddink, we first and foremost looked at the manager's ability to win," the Russian sports minister added. "And in the end, we were right."