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Soccer-Peru want Bielsa as coach, says federation official

Reuters

Feb 7 (Reuters) - Peru, who have failed to reach the World Cup finals since 1982, have set their sights on Marcelo Bielsa as their coach after the Argentine's success in reviving neighbouring Chile's fortunes.

Bielsa took charge of Chile in 2007 and steered them to the second round at the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa, their first since 1998, before fellow Argentine Jorge Sampaoli secured their ticket to this year's tournament in Brazil.

The Peruvian Football Federation (FPF) is planning to approach Bielsa, who has been out of a job since leaving Athletic Bilbao last June, in time for Peru's friendly against England at Wembley on May 30, local media reported on Friday.

"We have entrusted (FPF president) Manuel Burga with talking to professor Bielsa," FPF vice president Alfredo Brito said after a FPF board meeting in Lima.

"We're going to exhaust all possible means because one has to recognise he did a good job in Chile," Brito was quoted as saying on the daily El Comercio's website (www.elcomercio.pe).

Peru have been without a coach since Uruguayan Sergio Markarian quit after his team failed to qualify for this year's World Cup finals in Brazil.

England have set up two other warm-up friendlies against fellow World Cup finalists Ecuador and Honduras in Miami in early June. The finals begin on June 12. (Writing by Rex Gowar in London, editing by Mark Meadows)

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