Graham Arnold set for Socceroos contract offer after World Cup success | Australia

Socceroos coach Graham Arnold appears set to be offered a fresh contract as informal negotiations continue with Football Australia hierarchy. Arnold’s previous deal expired after overseeing Australia’s most successful World Cup at the tournament in Qatar.

The head coach is holidaying in the United Kingdom, with FA chief executive officer James Johnson keeping in contact ahead of Arnold’s return to Australia after Christmas. Johnson has pledged to not sound out any other potential coaching candidates before Arnold returns.

“We are in touch with Graham about what his involvement over the next four years will look like,” Johnson told AAP. “Sure, having some stability with this team, given the rise, is a good thing and we will talk to Arnie about that.

“We won’t talk to others until we have finished talking to Arnie. But … we have got to be realistic, Arnie’s value has increased but so has the Australian game, and the Socceroos … let’s see where we land, but I must say I am very proud of Graham.”

Under Arnold, the Socceroos won two games at a single World Cup for the first time and advanced to the round of 16 for only the second occasion, following the feat of the 2006 squad.

Arnold has yet to indicate his future intentions, as FA hold a review into the campaign in Qatar which is expected to be completed in January.

“We’re in regular contact, we have a great relationship,” Johnson said. “I have just said, ‘Mate, go and have a break, we’re not going to market, we will be talking to you but let us finish our review … and then we will get together and have a beer and have a conversation around your future when you get back.

“That is what we intend to do. We don’t want to rush the decision.”

Johnson praised Arnold not only for the Socceroos’ performances in Qatar but also qualifying for the tournament after an arduous 20-game campaign during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“He has succeeded – and not only with the [World Cup] result but also how he got there,” Johnson said. “That was the hardest and most complex campaign we have had and it’s the best performance at a World Cup that we have had, so Arnie has done a fantastic job.”