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Relegated Sociedad close in on Coleman

28 June 2007 22:35

MADRID (AFP) - Relegated Real Sociedad said Thursday they have lined up former Fulham boss Chris Coleman as their new coach after Miguel Angel Lotina resigned last week to join Primera Liga club Deportivo La Coruna.

Coleman, who was sacked by Fulham in April after four years in charge, is negotiating a three-year deal with the San Sebastian-based club, who dropped out of the top flight after 40 years following a disastrous campaign which saw them go winless until the week before Christmas.

Sociedad said the club's board had to ratify the final details of a contract for Coleman, who would follow in the footsteps of fellow Welshman John Toshack if he does take over the club, which won the league title in 1981 and 1982.

Like former Liverpool star Toshack, Coleman also was on the books of Swansea City as a player, the former taking the club to the top flight in straight seasons from the old fourth division in England.

Coleman, 37, also played for Manchester City, Crystal Palace, Blackburn Rovers and Fulham, while he also won more than 30 Welsh caps.

He succeeded Frenchman Jean Tigana in April 2003 at Fulham to become the youngest coach in the English Premiership and a year later had the London side finish in the top half of the table.

There followed two midtable finishes before he was fired when they were teetering on being relegated.

The club brought in Lawrie Sanchez and he ultimately saved them from the drop.

Sky Sports late Thursday quoted Coleman as saying the job awaiting him, at a club that Toshack coached three times, was a "big, big challenge".

"I have been out having talks in San Sebastian for the past three days," Coleman told Sky Sports News.

He added: "The talks have been very, very positive, but I have not signed a contract yet."

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