Paulo Fonseca lined up as a replacement for Fernando Santos as Portugal manager

Paulo Fonseca-AS Roma

Portugal are reportedly set to sack national team head coach Fernando Santos and will hire Paulo Fonseca.

The 68-year-old Santos is under intense pressure after failing to guide the Seleccao past the quarterfinals of the World Cup.

The 2016 European Championship winners were beaten 1-0 by Morocco in the quarterfinals, with the major talking point in the game being Santos’s use of Cristiano Ronaldo. The coach benched his star man for the game, bringing him in the second half when Portugal were already behind. However, the Ex-Manchester United man could not inspire a comeback, and Portugal were sent packing from Qatar.

And now, according to GOAL, the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) is expected to sack Santos, imminently bringing an end to his eight-year tenure as Seleccao coach.

According to the report, the FA have set Lille coach Fonseca as the frontrunner for the role should Santos be relieved of the job.

AS Roma coach José Mourinho has already been linked to the job. The former Chelsea coach could combine his job at the club level with being a national team coach.

Ex-South Korea coach and former Portugal international Paulo Bento is also rumoured to be in the running. The 53-year-old led South Korea to the World Cup, beating Portugal on their way to a round of 16 loss to Brazil. 

While Santos led Portugal to a shock triumph at Euro 2016, he had been accused of failing to get the most out of an outrageously talented group of players because of his conservative tactics. But with Lille’s Fonseca, Portugal believes they are hiring a coach that can bring the best out of their talented players.

The 49-year-old is renowned for his attractive brand of football and already has close ties with the Portuguese federation due to his work with Ukrainian refugees.