Geneva, Switzerland: Vladimir Petkovic, the manager who masterminded Switzerland’s run to the Euro quarter-finals, could be heading for Bordeaux after the Swiss Football Association confirmed the French club had made an approach.
The former Lazio boss, 57, is seen as the main architect of Switzerland’s run to the last eight at Euro 2020, in which they dumped out world champions France in the last 16.
The SFA said that on Sunday, the sporting director of Bordeaux, who finished 12th in Ligue 1 last season, contacted the Swiss national team director “to inform him of the club’s interest in our national coach”.
“Discussions are therefore under way between the parties concerned. Petkovic currently has a contract with the SFA which will be automatically extended until the end of 2022 if he qualifies the national team for the World Cup,” the SFA said on Twitter.
“The SFA has no other declarations to make at the moment.”
The Swiss daily newspaper Blick quoted Vinicio Fioranelli, a close contact of the national team boss as an agent and a friend, as saying Petkovic “asked to be released” from his contract.
Fioranelli said that when Petkovic agreed the deal on extending his contract with the SFA, “it was stipulated that the coach could go to a high-level championship — that is to say Germany, England, Italy, Spain or France — in exchange for a small fee”.
Petkovic was also assured that “no obstacle would be put in his way if he were to receive such an offer”.
A naturalised Swiss who was born in Sarajevo, Petkovic has been in charge of the national team since 2014.
Under his leadership, Switzerland pulled off one of their best-ever performances at a major international tournament, reaching the European Championships quarter-finals, where they were eliminated by Spain on penalties in Saint Petersburg on July 2.
Previously, Switzerland’s best international performances had been reaching the World Cup quarter-finals in 1934, 1938 and 1954.