Around the grounds: Ex-England boss linked with Victory job, Babbel not giving up on Ribery, Verbeek’s vision for Adelaide

Melbourne Victory vowed to scour the globe to look for a replacement for Kevin Muscat and it seems at least one big-name European coach is keen on the gig.

According to a report in The World Game, former England and Manchester City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson has thrown his hat in the ring.

Eriksson, 71, has a wealth of coaching experience, taking the Three Lions to two FIFA World Cups, as well as managing at clubs like City, Roma, Lazio and Benfica.

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His most recent role was with the Philippines national team at January’s AFC Asian Cup, while he has managed against Victory before – in the AFC Champions League while at the helm of Shanghai SIPG.

Former Brisbane Roar boss John Aloisi has also been linked with the vacant head coaching role at Victory.

The four-time Hyundai A-League champions are on the lookout for a new boss after Muscat last month decided to end his 14-year association with the club as a player and coach.

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"I'll personally pick him up from the airport"

Markus Babbel hasn’t given up hope of luring Franck Ribery to Western Sydney Wanderers, despite conceding the Hyundai A-League club won’t offer enough money to land the French star.

The Wanderers have been linked with the now former Bayern Munich star, with Babbel keen to bring him Down Under.

But in an interview with Sky Sports in Germany, Babbel admitted the Wanderers were unlikely to match the 36-year-old’s wage demands.

"I've had a long talk with our chairman and unfortunately he's not ready to go that deep,” Babbel told Sky Sports Germany.

“From a footballer’s point of view, of course, he would be the rock star here, so some of my players would probably be frozen in awe.

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"If he wants to lead a beautiful life, even with his family, he would have absolute peace and serenity with us. I'll personally pick him up from the airport."

Ribery, who ended a 12-year association with Bayern last month, has said that money won’t be the sole factor in his next move.

"I do not just play for money," he told reporters at his farewell Bayern press conference.

Why should I not go to [Markus] Babbel? I do not know. There are many options. I'm not sure yet where I'm going.”

Ribery
Could Franck Ribery make his way to the Wanderers? Markus Babbel is prepared to meet him at the airport

Bonevacia rolls into new club

Still on the Wanderers, and one of their ex-players has found a new home after being let go by Babbel at the end of the 2018/19 campaign.

Playmaker Roly Bonevacia was one of 11 players released by Western Sydney as Babbel laid the foundations for a giant rebuild of his squad.

Bonevacia, who scored eight goals in 45 appearances for the club over two seasons, has moved to Saudi Arabia, joining Al Faisaly FC.

Verbeek outlines his Reds revolution

New Adelaide United boss Gertjan Verbeek has vowed to bring an attacking, eye-catching brand of football to the Reds.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Adelaide Advertiser, Verbeek also spoke about his desire to nurture the club’s young talent, gave an insight into his recruiting strategies and outlined his football philosophy.

The Dutchman has taken the Adelaide reins from Marco Kurz, who was not re-signed beyond the 2018/19 Season despite winning the FFA Cup and getting the club to within one win of the Grand Final.

“We will be looking for the best players,” said Verbeek, who has signed a two-year deal with the Reds.

“When it’s possible we want to have Australian players, but the foreign players will make the difference.

Players and agents now know that I’m going to Adelaide and there’s a lot of interest to go there and play football. Every day someone is calling me and I have a lot of contacts.

“But the basis of the team is good because they got fourth place (in the league). You need two, three or four (new) players maybe.”

Youth development is also a big part of the 56-year-old’s charter and he has had success in this area in the past, with Liverpool’s Gini Wijnaldum and ex-Real Madrid striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar both emerging under Verbeek in the Netherlands.

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“That’s one of the goals I’ve got from the club…to have more interest in the youth players – see them play and train with them and make them better,” he admitted in the Advertiser.

“You have also to develop the younger players to get in the first team. The youth training staff is at a good level and we want to bring it all together so we learn from each other.

“The experience I have and the knowledge I have, I can share with them and it’s the same with them because they have knowledge and experience in Australian football.”

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