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Coleman set for Wales contract talks

Wales manager Chris Coleman is set to open contract talks early in the new year.

The 45-year-old successfully guided Wales to Euro 2016 earlier this year, the first time they have qualified for a major tournament since 1958.

And he has made no secret of the fact that he is keen to extend his current deal, which will expire after the finals in June, to cover the 2018 World Cup qualification campaign.

Having seen him orchestrate a dramatic improvement in the country’s footballing fortunes since taking the reins in 2012, Football Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford is keen to extend the former centre-back’s tenure.

“We’re relaxed and we’ve been clear about where we stand,” he told WalesOnline. “Chris has done a fantastic job and I want him to continue to do a fantastic job both in the Euros and beyond.

“But we always said we would keep qualification, World Cup draw and the Euro draw clean from distractions. 

“There will come a point in the new year when hopefully we’ll conclude it swiftly.”

Having been handed a relatively favourable draw, which will see them face Slovakia, England and Russia in Group B, hopes are high among Wales fans that their side may manage to qualify for the knockout stages.

Ford, however, is reluctant to set a specific target for Coleman and his charges.

“We said we have our idea where we would like to get to,” he said. “And I think everybody has said it would be good to get out of the group and anything after that in my mind is a bonus.

“But what we want to do is not set targets but provide the atmosphere and environment to make sure we get everything right to give the boys the best chance of doing their best.”

Wales will open their campaign against Slovakia in Bordeaux on June 11. 

Sun 20 Dec, 2015
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