Phillip Cocu keen on Hibs job as former PSV and Derby boss eyes return to dug-out

Former Dutch international Phillip Cocu has expressed an interest in the Hibs managerial vacancy.

The 51-year-old former Barcelona and PSV midfielder, who earned 101 caps for the Netherlands, is eyeing a return to management two years after his Derby County exit and is said to be keen on succeeding Shaun Maloney, who was sacked after just 120 days in charge earlier this month.

However, Hibs chiefs are still taking their time to select the right candidate to take over ahead of the 2022/23 season and won’t be rushed into a decision, with former Sunderland and Ipswich boss Roy Keane among those throwing their hat into the ring.

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Interim boss David Gray is in charge until the end of the season and chief executive Ben Kensell is currently down in London with head of recruitment Ian Gordon to conduct preliminary talks with some hopefuls.

It is hoped that these informal discussions will help Hibs piece together a longlist of quality candidates suitable for the role, with the club’s hierarchy eager to avoid another inexperienced appointment and a safer pair of hands with experience of football in the UK.

Cocu was part of the coaching staff when the Netherlands reached the 2010 World Cup final, losing to Spain, before taking over the reins at PSV in 2013 and going on to win three Eredivisie titles in four seasons.

A less successful spell at Turkish side Fenerbahce followed before a season-and-a-half at Derby. He led the Rams to tenth in the English Championship and won plaudits for his style of football – dubbed ‘Cocuball’ – but left the club in November 2020 with the Pride Park side rooted to the bottom of the league.

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