The hunt to fill the LionsXII hotseat left vacant after V. Sundramoorthy's departure for Negeri Sembilan will be coming to an end soon.
Goal Singapore understands that an announcement and unveiling of the new LionsXII coach will be made by the end of next week, and the man in the lead for the role is reportedly former Singapore intenational Fandi Ahmad.
Fandi, often dubbed as Singapore's favourite footballing son and a fan favourite since the exit of Sundram, will likely be made the coach to make up for the exit of several key players from the squad for the 2014 season.
LionsXII captain, Shahril Ishak and defensive stalwart, Baihakki Khaizan have both signed for Malaysian Premier League side Johor FA, while vice-captain Hariss Harun has also crossed the causeway to join Johor Darul Takzim, who ply their trade in the Malayisan Super League.
The Singapore side being shorn of marketable household names is believed to have been a key reason that has made Fandi a frontrunner to lead the LionsXII next year, with only contract details standing in the way of finalising the deal.
Earlier media reports had placed the former Johor Darul Takzim coach as a leading candidate along with former Warriors FC coach Richard Bok.
The three-time S.League Coach of the Year winner, who has won four S.League titles also has regional experience, having participated in the AFC Champions League twice and made the AFC Cup quarter-final stage on two different occassions. Currently working in the financial industry, Bok had previously expressed interest in a role with regional emphasis but was also mooted for an assistant post with the LionsXII by some quarters of the media.
The application process for the LionsXII Head Coach role ended on October 26, with the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) announcing that over 70 applications were received. The new role also comes with added responsibilities with the coach needing to assist Bernd Stange in preparations for senior international matches.