Bombshell report links Matildas boss to surprise men’s football job

Matildas boss Tony Gustavsson is reportedly in contention to become the next head coach of the Sweden men’s national team and he is believed to have even interviewed for the vacancy.

The bombshell report comes just over a week before the Matildas are set to face Canada in a pair of international friendlies on December 2 and December 6 (AEDT) in North America.

According to Swedish newspaper Sportbladet, Swede Gustavsson is one of the favourites to replace outgoing Sweden coach Janne Andersson following his final match in charge on November 19 – a 2-0 win over Estonia in a Euro 2024 qualifier after the nation failed to qualify for year’s major UEFA tournament.

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The report claims Gustavsson – contracted through until the 2024 Olympics and preparing for February’s play-off against Uzbekistan – met with the nation’s federation on “at least one occasion and one more occasion is also planned” about the job.

Sportbladet adds that members within the organisation “are working to get Gustavsson in” as they attempt to make an appointment before their January tour.

Elfsborg’s Jimmy Thelin and BK Hacken’s Per-Mathias Hogmo are believed to be the other candidates for the men’s national team role after former Chelsea boss Graham Potter turned down an approach.

Gustavsson was heavily linked with the United States women’s national team after guiding Australia to an historic FIFA Women’s World Cup semi-final on home soil.

The 50-year-old reportedly travelled to the USA to interview for the role before legendary Chelsea boss Emma Hayes was appointed to fill the void left by Vlatko Andonovski.

It also comes after Gustavsson pledged his commitment to the Matildas after announcing his squad for the trip to Canada.

He insisted he had “unfinished business” with Australia, while acknowledging “speculation and rumours” around the American role.

“I think if you go back to the speculations and rumours about this all the way back in the World Cup journey, you’ve heard me say the same thing over and over again,” Gustavsson said earlier this month.

“I love working with this team and I have unfinished business and a lot of players feels the same way.

“We were so close to a medal in the Olympics. We were so close to a medal in the World Cup. We’re not in the (Paris) Olympics yet. We need to respect that.

“We have qualifiers in February so it’s unfinished business in that sense as well.”

Gustavsson added: “I’ve said it from day one and it’s a part of this job that there’s always going to be speculations.

“But what I really want to be clear on here though, so there’s no misinterpretation on this one, is that I think everyone that has worked closely with me and seen me working with this team over these three years, knows how passionate I am working with this team and how much I love this team.

“So I hope people that might have a different agenda don’t use this against me now and start saying, Hey, where’s the loyalty? Does he really like working with this team?

“Everyone that’s been with me, knows what I think about this team and how much I love working with this team.”