by Bhas Kunju & Teng Kiat
If all things go smoothly, the identity of the new LionsXII head coach will be made known next week and Fandi Ahmad is the man who has been offered the post according to sources.
The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) announced on Saturday night that they have reached an agreement on V. Sundramoorthy's successor, as they move into the final part of the recruitment process.
Having whittled down a pool of over 70 candidates to just three equally-qualified names, FAS then put them through an interview to select the final candidate who will be presented with a formal offer and could be unveiled as soon as next week.
"FAS hopes to present the new coach by next week, and will issue a further update in due course," a media statement read.
Singapore legend Fandi was revealed by Goal Singapore to be the preferred candidate over a week ago with only contract negotiations to be tied up. Fandi's star power was a main factor in his selection given the departure of several marketable household names from the squad.
The LionsXII coaching post was formally vacated by Sundram in early October after he guided the team to their first Malaysian Super League (MSL) title in only their second season.
Fandi, who was last with Johor Darul Takzim, was also voted by Goal Singapore readers as their choice to be the next LionsXII coach.
Former Singapore Armed Forces FC (SAFFC, now Warriors FC) head coach Richard Bok is also believed to have been in the running for the post.
The revealing of the new coach will end a recruitment process that has lasted for about two months.
In addition to Sundram's departure to Premier League side Negeri Sembilan, captain Shahril Ishak and star defender Baihakki Khaizan also moved across the Causeway to Johor Darul Takzim II, while Hariss Harun has joined their MSL team and will likely line up alongside Pablo Aimar next season.