Veljko Paunovic and the Chicago Fire are on the verge of finalizing a deal that will keep the Serbian that will keep him as the Fire’s coach for the foreseeable future, according to a published report.
The Athletic reports the sides are closing in on a multi-year contract for Paunovic, whose current deal expires at the end of the year.
Paunovic is 31-46-26 since joining Chicago after coaching the Serbian U-20 national team and leading them to the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup title. The Fire were 8-18-8 this season, missing the playoffs a year after the squad ended a four-year postseason drought.
Finalizing a deal with Paunovic could signify a return in 2019 of Designated Player Bastian Schweinsteiger, The Athletic reports. The story also claims general manager Nelson Rodriguez is set to return.
Rodriguez took the blame for the Fire’s struggles in 2018 at an end-of-season roundtable with reporters earlier this month, but made it clear he thinks he’s the man to turn things around.