Arnie closes in on Sydney gig as Jets end flirtation

The Jets have withdrawn from discussions with Graham Arnold for the club's vacant head coach position, fuelling speculation Arnold will coach Sydney FC.

Newcastle Jets have withdrawn from discussions with Graham Arnold for the club's vacant head coach position, fuelling speculation the former Central Coast championship winner will coach Sydney FC.

A statement from Newcastle today said an agreement could not be reached with Arnold, who departed J-League club Vegalta Sendai last month following a six-game winless run at the start of the season.

“Over the last two months the club has been conducting an extensive selection process for the head coach position which involved a number of domestic and international candidates including Graham Arnold, but after several discussions an agreement could not be reached,” said the Jets.

Newcastle recently cleared out their boot-room, a move which ramped up speculation that the former Socceroos assistant coach was on his way to the Hunter.

It-s understood Arnold has had discussions with Sydney about the vacant job and is seen as a strong candidate in a field that also includes Holger Osieck.

And with former FFA technical director Han Berger joining the Sky Blues as a board member with a remit to help find the club a coach who can build a team for the future, Arnold appears in pole position.

Another mooted candidate for the post, Ricky Herbert, will have ruled himself out of the running after the inaugural Wellington Phoenix coach landed a job with FIFA.

Herbert will be part of a 14-strong FIFA Technical Study Group that will survey the upcoming World Cup in Brazil. The group will identify how all competing countries approach the tournament and will be overseen by former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier.

The Jets, meanwhile, will continue the head coach selection process and will make an announcement shortly, said the club today.