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Korean football clubs looking overseas for coaches

South Korean football clubs are turning their eyes to foreign coaches after overseas managers produced impressive results this past season.

Jeonnam Dragons said Thursday that five foreigners have been shortlisted for their vacant coaching job. Jeonnam were relegated to the second division K League 2 after finishing last among 12 clubs in the top flight K League 1. 

Jeonnam Dragons (Yonhap)
Jeonnam Dragons (Yonhap)

"Our priority is to return to the K League 1 next year," Jeonnam CEO Shin Seung-jae said. "Our first option is to hire a foreign coach, but if that doesn't happen, we'll search among local tacticians."

In the K League 1, three clubs have already announced that they'll compete with foreign coaches next season.

Incheon United, finishing ninth in the league table, will stick with Norwegian-born Jorn Andersen, who joined the K League 1 side in June.

Incheon were bottom before the K League 1 split, but under Andersen, former head coach of the North Korean national team, Incheon won the last four matches, thus escaping from the relegation zone and surviving in the K League 1.

Daegu FC, seventh in the K League 1, said they will offer a contract extension to their head coach Andre Luiz Alves Santos, simply known as Andre. The 46-year-old Brazilian led Daegu to the Korea Football Association Cup title this year, the first trophy in the club's history.

Andre was a caretaker manager for Daegu before signing a one-year contact last year.

"Our plan is to play with Andre next season as he guided us to the FA Cup title and kept us in the K League 1," said Daegu President Cho Kwang-rae. "We'll offer him a new contract soon."

Reigning K League 1 champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors picked Jose Morais as their new head coach following the departure of Choi Kang-hee, who moved to Chinese side Tianjin Quanjian.

The 53-year-old Portuguese signed a two-year contract with the six-time K League winners earlier this month.

Morais, who served as an assistant to renowned head coach Jose Mourinho at Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Chelsea, also had stints in Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Greece, England and Ukraine, before arriving in South Korea.

The last time the K League had three or more foreign head coaches was in 2009. Then, FC Seoul had Senol Gunes of Turkey, while Incheon played under Serbian boss Ilija Petkovic. Pohang Steelers and Jeju United had Brazilian coaches Sergio Farias and Arthur Bernardes, respectively. (Yonhap)

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