Hibs next manager: International boss linked with vacancy for a second time
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The Socceroos boss was tipped as a potential replacement for Neil Lennon back in January 2019 but rubbished the reports and said he had been ‘surprised to learn of the speculation’, and Paul Heckingbottom was eventually appointed successor to the former Celtic manager.
Arnold’s stock is high after guiding Australia to the round of 16 at last year’s Qatar World Cup and reports claim there are two English Championship sides who are also eyeing a move for the 60-year-old, whose last involvement as a club manager was back in 2018 with Sydney FC, with whom he won the A-League championship and Australia Cup after stints with Central Coast Mariners and Vegalta Sendai in Japan.
Although he has been linked with the Easter Road vacancy Arnold – whose contract as Australia manager runs until 2026 – has also expressed a desire to emulate Ange Postecoglou by winning the Asian Cup with Australia, taking place in January and February 2024 in Qatar. He has been based in the UK recently to run the rule over players ahead of the Socceroos’ friendly against Mexico in Dallas, with his squad announced on Friday September 1.
Football Australia chief James Johnson told FTBL: "Our expectation is that our national team head coaches will always draw interest from other parties for the same reason we appointed them. Graham recently re-signed with Football Australia for the next World Cup cycle, where our qualifying campaign starts in November, with important friendlies against Mexico and England leading in."
Hibs are on the lookout for a new manager after Johnson and assistants Jamie McAllister and Adam Owen were relieved of their duties following Saturday’s 3-2 defeat by Livingston – the team’s third consecutive cinch Premiership loss and the first time in 20 years that they have lost their opening three league games.
Former manager Neil Lennon is currently the bookies’ favourite ahead of ex-Hibs, Aberdeen, and Celtic midfielder and current Fleetwood Town boss Scott Brown, Kilmarnock manager Derek McInnes, and Malky Mackay of Ross County. Arnold is currently priced at 12/1 with Scots bookmaker McBookie, but the Evening News understands there has been no contact from Hibs.