Avram Grant parried away questions about his future with the Black Stars after the Africa Cup of Nations, saying he was motivated to win something for Ghana and to make Ghanaians happy.
A politically correct response to increasing interest in his future as his two-year contract with Ghana runs out next month with speculations about the Israeli’s future, with coaches Herve Renard and Milutin Sredojević being strongly linked with the Stars job if Ghana does not renew Grant’s contract.
In fact, the former Chelsea and Portsmouth coach dropped a hint that the Nations Cup in Gabon would be his last official duty for Ghana, indicating he wanted to win the continental trophy after coming close to winning it two years ago when the Stars lost the final to Cote d’Ivoire on penalties.
“I came for two years in Ghana, we extended to two years and three months because we qualified for the Nations Cup,” Grant told the BBC this week.
“I will always take good memories from here, but hopefully the last memory will be the best one.”
Uganda coach Sredojević, who guided the Cranes to two draws and a victory against Ghana before they lost at this year’s AFCON, has long been linked with the Stars job.
Some Ugandan journalists covering the AFCON have said news were rife in their country that the Serbian coach could be headed to Ghana, after indicating he would leave the Cranes after Gabon 2017. However, when the issue was put before Sredojević after the Ghana-Uganda clash, he was non-committal saying he was focused on the tournament.
“I don’t want to talk about this but as every coach in Africa, I hope to coach the Black Stars one day. If not, I want to be one of the highest coaches in Africa,” said the 47-year-old Serbian who has extensive coaching experience on the continent having previously handled South African side Orlando Pirates, Young Africans of Tanzania, Al Hilal Omdurman of the Sudan, St. George of Ethiopia and Ugandan club SC Villa.
Sredojević, who has reportedly told close friends he would quit the Uganda job despite having a running contact, also handled the Rwanda national team from 2012 to 2013.
Frenchman Renard could make a return to the Stars, having worked as assistant coach in charge of team fitness during the two-year spell of his compatriot Claude Le Roy, who led Ghana to third place at the 2008 Nations Cup.
Since leaving Ghana in 2008, Renard’s career has blossomed after he led Zambia and Cote d’Ivoire to win the 2012 and 2015 African titles. And in achieving that enviable feat, the Frenchman denied Ghana continental glory as his Zambian side defeated the Stars 1-0 in the semi-finals in Bata, while the Ivorians beat the Stars 9-8 on penalties.
GFA officials have also refused to comment on Grant’s future saying it is “premature and out of order” to be discussing the issue when it is not yet vacant while the Israeli has an important task to perform and needs no such distraction.