SAO PAULO – US national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann shot down any idea that he’s interested in the top job at Galatasaray after a spokesman from the Turkish power recently revealed he’s on the club’s list for potential replacements in Istanbul.
Klinsmann is under contract with US Soccer through 2018 and brushed aside the report immediately on Friday following the team’s first training session since advancing to the knockout round of the World Cup next week.
“The response is simple,” Klinsmann said. “No.”
A Galatasaray spokesperson told ESPN earlier this week that the club president spoke with former Manchester United and Everton manager David Moyes about the head coaching position, and that Klinsmann and current German head coach Jogi Löw are the top candidates to replace Roberto Mancini, who was fired last month.
“We are not in a rush – we are waiting for the end of the World Cup,” the spokesperson told ESPN. “The first two targets are Löw or Klinsmann.”
USSF president Sunil Gulati told media members on Wednesday that Klinsmann’s current contract with the federation is not conditional on how the team fares at the World Cup, and that he is expected to stay on through the 2018 cycle. Klinsmann signed a four-year contract extension late last year.
“What convinced us [about Klinsmann] is that it’s not just about a game or the result, or we wouldn’t have made the decision in December,” Gulati said. “It’s about everything we’re seeing, where the program is heading, the message that’s going out from top to bottom.
“We’re pleased with how all of those things are going. We decided that even given the risks of three important games, we were prepared to make that commitment.”
Klinsmann reportedly has been chased by top-flight clubs before during his tenure with the United States, most notably in 2013 by English Premier League heavyweight Tottenham Hotspur, where he played over two different stints in the 1990s.
“I didn't give any consideration [to Tottenham],” Klinsmann said in January. “I'm always thrilled when there are interests coming in from wherever, and it's nice, it means that people kind of see the type of work you're doing.
“But I'm committed to this federation and this program over the long run. I want to do well in Brazil. We had a good start the last two years, the qualifying window went well, but now we have to prove it in the biggest tournament you can be part of and in the biggest footballing nation in the world [in Brazil]. That's what I live for.”