Roberto Donadoni set for Israel manager

He’s Italian, he’s won the Champions League and now Israel want to make him an offer he can’t refuse

By Simon Griver, February 18, 2010
Roberto Donadoni

Roberto Donadoni

Roberto Donadoni, the former Italy boss, is the frontrunner to take charge of Israel.

Donadoni, 46, who led Italy to the quarter-finals of Euro 96, has reportedly been offered a two-year contract worth €2 million with a €500,000 bonus if Israel reach the 2012 finals.

His most recent job was as manager of Napoli last season. As a player, he helped AC Milan win the Serie A five times and three Champions Leagues. He also played in two World Cups and was a losing finalist in 1994.

Ronald Koeman is another contender. Koeman, 46, won the Dutch title with PSV Eindhoven in 2007 and has since managed Valencia and AZ Alkmaar.

The developments follow a visit from Mordechai Spiegler, Israel's World Cup hero from the Mexico finals in 1970, to Europe as the special emissary of the Israel FA to interview candidates.

He reportedly received a positive response from Donadoni, while Koeman has reservations about leaving club football.

Israel has been handed a relatively easy draw in Group 6 along with Croatia, Greece, Latvia, Georgia and Malta and Israel FA Chairman Avi Luzon is determined to name a high-profile overseas coach, after Dror Kashtan's men could only finish fourth in an even easier World Cup qualifying group.

Luzon said: "We need a quality foreign coach who will bring new ideas and new ways of doing things into Israeli football." Should Israel fail to name an overseas appointment, Eyal Berkovic is focusing his campaign to fill the position on the high cost of bringing in a big-name foreign coach.

Luzon justified the size of the contract, triple Kashtan's salary. He said Israel has sold foreign TV rights for the Euro 2012 qualifiers to a German company for more than €4 million, and there will be additional income from domestic TV rights and ticket sales.

Last updated: 5:53pm, February 18 2010