TOKYO (AFP) - Japan on Monday ended a two-month global hunt by naming Italian Alberto Zaccheroni as their new national coach following their best-ever World Cup on foreign soil.
The former AC Milan and Juventus coach will be officially unveiled on Tuesday.
"The national coach has been finally decided," Japan Football Association (JFA) vice-president Kuniya Daini told reporters as he announced the appointment without giving details, including the length of the contract.
Japan's Kyodo news agency, citing Italian media, reported that Zaccheroni had agreed a two-year contract worth 2.36 million dollars with a two-year option.
The association said it would hold a news conference in Tokyo on Tuesday with the 57-year-old Zaccheroni, the sixth foreigner and first Italian to manage Japan, the three-time Asian champions.
Zaccheroni, who won the 1998-99 Serie A title with AC Milan, replaces Takeshi Okada, who guided the Blue Samurai to the World Cup last-16 in South Africa but left after the tournament.
Three foreigners -- Philippe Troussier, Zico and Ivica Osim -- have coached Japan after Okada led Japan to a winless World Cup debut in 1998 in his first stint as national coach.
Unable to obtain a work visa in time, Zaccheroni is expected to watch from the stands for Japan's first post-World Cup international match -- against Paraguay in Yokohama on Saturday.
It was Paraguay who sent Japan packing from South Africa after a penalty shoot-out on June 30. They face Guatemala in another home friendly in Osaka three days later.
Zaccheroni, famous for his attacking style with three forwards, has been coaching Italian sides since the age of 30 and took over struggling Juventus last January on a four-month contract. The Turin side finished the season seventh.
The Italian's first major task will be the Asian Cup in January in Qatar in which Japan hope to regain the title.
Japan have struggled to replace Okada with a big name.
JFA technical director Hiromi Hara said last week Chilean Manuel Pellegrini, who was sacked as Real Madrid manager in May, and Spaniard Ernesto Valverde had turned down offers. Valverde instead re-signed with Greek side Olympiakos.
Former FC Porto coach Victor Fernandez and former Mexico coach Javier Aguirre were also mentioned as possible candidates in media.
"I have realised anew that Japan is in the Far East," JFA president Junji Ogura said at one point about the challenge of luring coaches away from offers from European clubs and settling their families in Japan.
|Ruben Yanez joins Getafe from Real Madrid|
|Clement: Swansea can be stronger without Sigurdsson|
|Paulinho insists he can fit in at Bacelona|
|Gabi urges Costa to respect Chelsea despite desire to join Atletico Madrid|
|Mbappe left out of Monaco squad amid ongoing PSG links|
|Zidane, Mourinho, Low, Conte and Guardiola to battle for Best FIFA Men´s Coach prize|
|Bosz has ´no idea´ whether Dembele will stay at Dortmund|
|Messi, Ronaldo, Iniesta and Kane among nominees for Best FIFA Men´s Player award|
|Messi not signing new deal would surprise Barcelona VP Mestre|
|Barca in ´difficult situation´ over Coutinho and Dembele|
|Sturridge fit for Palace clash|
|LaLiga 2017-18: Messi in transition, Bale battling for his place - five stars to watch|
|Nothing has changed over Coutinho - Klopp|
|Barcelona´s Luis Suarez to miss four to five weeks with knee injury|
|James one of six Bayern stars out of Bundesliga opener|
|Tottenham midfielder Sissoko: No agreement with any club|
|Barca ´not a millimetre closer´ to signing Dembele - Watzke|
|Neymar money would fund us for ´15 years´, says Toulouse boss|
|Transfer market is crazy, admits £45m Everton new boy Sigurdsson|
|Barcelona complete €40m Paulinho signing from Guangzhou|
|LaLiga 2017-18: Madrid ready to tighten grip on bumbling Barcelona|
|Brighton tie Knockaert, Dunk & Duffy to new deals|
|Milan ready to fight for Scudetto - Kaka|
|Bundesliga 2017-18: Ancelotti angst, Bosz bottle and VAR all under scrutiny as new season kicks off|
|Carvajal: Real Madrid were all over Barcelona|
|Bundesliga 2017-18: James checks in as Aubameyang stays – five stars to watch|
|Behrami leaves Watford for Udinese|
|Wenger and Arsenal willing to make financial sacrifice on Sanchez|
|Montreal Impact 3 Chicago Fire 0: Piatti double sinks slumping visitors|
|Pique: This is the first time I´ve felt inferior to Real Madrid|
|Asensio: Madrid played better and deserved Supercopa title|
|Barca star Suarez to undergo tests on knee injury|
|Barca close to signing Coutinho and Dembele - Segura|
|Valverde: Madrid aren´t invincible as Barca boss laments Neymar loss|
|Zidane lauds ´spectacular´ Madrid after Supercopa triumph|
|PSG troll Barcelona over Supercopa loss to Madrid|
|Real Madrid 2 Barcelona 0 (5-1 agg): First-half Barca failings settle Supercopa|
|Champions League Review: Mertens stars as Napoli put two past Nice|
|Rodgers eyes Liverpool reunion after ´perfect´ Celtic hammer Astana|
|Demebele can´t just do whatever he wants - Dortmund team-mate Sokratis|
|Championship Review: Norwich off the mark, Sheffield Wednesday hold Sunderland|
|Celtic 5 Astana 0: Sinclair double helps put Rodgers´ men on brink of qualification|
|Sigurdsson to Everton joins Lukaku, Torres and Sterling among biggest all-Premier League deals|
|Sigurdsson completes club-record move from Swansea to Everton|
|Izquierdo granted work permit ahead of club-record Brighton switch|
|Van Persie and Babel win Netherlands recalls|
|Ronaldo brands five-match ban ´exaggerated and ridiculous´|
|Bayern in ´good rhythm´ after poor pre-season - Ancelotti|
|Van Dijk not for sale, says Southampton chairman|
|Liverpool loan Ojo to Fulham|
|Ronaldo´s appeal against five-match ban rejected|
|PSG´s Matuidi arrives in Turin to complete Juventus switch|
|Barcelona threaten legal action over Paulinho deal allegations|
|Sigurdsson undergoes Everton medical, Koeman lavishes praise|
|Boateng leaves Las Palmas for personal reasons|
|Coutinho one of the best in the world, says Liverpool team-mate Can|
|Pulisic staying at Dortmund despite Liverpool speculation|
|Gundogan not rushing Premier League comeback|
|Carlos Bacca joins Villarreal from AC Milan|
|Wenger happy Sanchez & Oxlade-Chamberlain have not followed Coutinho path|
|Newcastle land Joselu in £5m deal|
|Jese Rodriguez joins Stoke from PSG|
|No progress on Alexis Sanchez contract, admits Arsenal boss Wenger|
|Klopp excited by ´incredible´ Alexander-Arnold after starring role in Liverpool win|
|Melbourne Victory confirm Sanchez signing|
|Aston Villa fans ´carried away´ after Terry signing, says Bruce|
|Hoffenheim had ´clearer´ chances, says Nagelsmann|
|Pogba determined to win Premier League with Man Utd|
|Championship Review: Ipswich win again in dramatic fashion|
|Klopp insists Liverpool still have work to do|
|Alexander-Arnold delighted with ´dream´ goal and Liverpool win|
|Hoffenheim 1 Liverpool 2: Klopp´s men secure fine away win in Champions League|
|Iniesta to miss Supercopa de Espana decider through injury|
|No comparison between Sanchez and Costa - Wenger|
|West Brom sign Barry to fill Fletcher void|
|Girona 1 Manchester City 0: Gundogan returns in friendly defeat|
|Balotelli a big loss but Nice are still dangerous, warns Napoli boss Sarri|
|Nothing is impossible - Barca and Valverde prepared to attack Madrid|
|Roberto and Samper in Valverde´s future Barca plans|
|Busquets hits out at Barcelona´s Segura over Pique blame|
|Fiorentina sign winger Dias from Monaco|
|S*** happens - Guidetti frustrated but determined after operation|
|Lawrence leaves Leicester for Derby in reported £7m deal|
|City´s Ederson proud of Brazil call-up|
|Bonucci targeting Champions League title at Milan|
|Buffon, Messi, Ronaldo up for UEFA Men´s Player of the Year award|
|Real Madrid US tour woes never worried Zidane|
|Arda agent denies deal with Galatasaray|
|Something is up - Real Madrid boss Zidane questions Ronaldo ban|
|Coutinho exit would be awful for Liverpool, admits Firmino|
|Ronaldo ban excessive, says Real Madrid defender Carvajal|
|Sammer sees Kimmich as leader for Bayern and Germany|
|That´s why Rooney´s in my fantasy team - Everton keeper Pickford delights in hero´s return|
|Dembele wasn´t ready for Barca last year, says ex-Bayern director|
|Mkhitaryan: Lindelof will prove his worth at Man United|
|Socceroos trio Jedinak, Spiranovic and Smith return ahead of qualifiers|
|Everton to buy house for homeless teenagers|
|Klopp has no say in Coutinho saga amid Barca speculation|
|Klopp unhappy as Can contract talks stall|
|Jack Wilshere makes comeback from leg fracture for Arsenal Under-23s|