The Covert Agent: Socceroos coach shortlist revealed - Bert Van Marwijk is outright favourite

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EXCLUSIVE: Goal's resident spy reveals the governing body's shortlist for the national team role and who is favourite to win the gig

World Cup runner-up Bert Van Marwijk is firming as favourite for the vacant Socceroos coaching role out of a list of two foreign managers on the FFA's shortlist.

The Covert Agent can reveal Van Marwijk and fellow Dutch manager Louis Van Gaal are the names on the governing body's list after chief executive David Gallop's trip to Europe.

It's understood Van Marwijk emerged as the preferred candidate after interviews were conducted with the duo because of his lower salary demands, willingness to accept a short-term contract and his past experience in the Asian confederation.

Van Marwijk's most recent job was with Saudi Arabia, and despite leading the team to the World Cup, he was fired after a new contract could not be agreed on.

The 65-year-old coach has won the UEFA Cup with Feyenoord and also led the Netherlands to second-place at the 2010 World Cup - only going down 1-0 to Spain in the final.

Van Gaal has been out of work since being sacked from Manchester United, despite winning the FA Cup, at the end of the 2016 season.

Chris Smalling Louis van Gaal Manchester United

He has won six league titles with Barcelona, Bayern Munich, AZ Alkmaar and Ajax - and also led the latter Champions League glory in 1995.

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Local coach candidates Graham Arnold and Tony Popovic say they have not yet been spoken to about the job, which the FFA says won't be decided on until mid-February - only one month before scheduled friendlies against Norway and Colombia.

It's believed Arnold is keen on the role but on a long-term contract starting after the World Cup.

The Socceroos have been drawn in group C for June's showpiece alongside France, Peru and Denmark.

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