Russia's football authorities are considering former England boss Fabio Capello as their new national coach, reports said Wednesday, as the Italian was expected in Moscow for initial talks.
Capello has been rumoured for several days to be the Russian Football Union's (RFU) first choice for taking over the country's national squad to lead it into the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign after Dick Advocaat stepped down.
The former RFU press spokesman and leading Russian football expert Andrei Malosolov said that Capello is expected to come to Moscow on Thursday to carry out negotiations with the RFU.
"Flash! Capello is coming to Moscow on Thursday for negotiations," Malosolov wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.
Russian daily Sport Express quoted prominent sports agent Shumi Babayev, who said he had been in contact with Capello, as saying: "If RFU chiefs decide to offer him the post of the national team's head coach he will accept the proposal with pleasure."
The 66-year-old Capello coached AC Milan, Roma, Juventus and Real Madrid, winning domestic titles with each one, before becoming England manager in 2007.
Under Capello, England qualified for Euro 2012 before the Italian resigned after falling out with Football Association chiefs.
Advocaat announced he was stepping down before the start of Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine and then guided the team to a disastrous first round exit. He has since taken over at PSV Eindhoven.
The fiasco at Euro 2012 also forced RFU chief Sergei Fursenko to resign right after his return home from the tournament.
Meanwhile, Valery Gazzaev, who led CSKA Moscow to the UEFA Cup in 2005, tops the shortlist of Russian candidates for the vacant coaching position.
The list also includes Russia's U-21 team coach Nikolai Pisarev and Alexander Borodyuk, who was an assistant coach to Advocaat and his predecessor Guus Hiddink.