Grant lined up for Israel post


Avram Grant could be set for a second stint as manager of Israel after the national team’s elimination from the 2014 World Cup was all but confirmed.

Having drawn 1-1 at home to Azerbaijan, Israel needed to win in St Petersburg to keep alive their Group F playoff hopes. But they had no answer to the power and technical ability of the Russians, going down 3-1 with Eran Zahavi claiming a last-minute consolation.

Israel FA chairman Avi Luzon had lunch with Grant in Petach Tikvah earlier this week and has reportedly offered him the chance to replace Eli Guttman ahead of the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.

It was only after Grant turned down Luzon’s advances that Guttman took the post as the former Chelsea and West Ham boss had said that he preferred to look for another English club. But Grant’s stock has fallen following back-to-back relegations with Portsmouth and West Ham and he may be tempted to accept Luzon’s offer this time.

Under Grant, Israel were unbeaten during their 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign, missing out on a play-off spot to Ireland on goal difference. With Uefa increasing the number of teams from 16 to 24 for the 2016 finals, Grant may feel he could become the first man to lead Israel to a major tournament since 1970.

Yossi Benayoun looks set to leave the Premier League after eight seasons, with Getafe and Malaga interested.

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