Hareide ruled out of City job

Former Norwich City defender Aage Hareide has been ruled out of the running for the vacant manager's position at Carrow Road. The 54-year-old Norway boss was rumoured to have been one of the more impressive candidates interviewed for the City job a year ago, but is now under contract until 2010 and looks like steering the national team in to the Euro 2008 finals.

Former Norwich City defender Aage Hareide has been ruled out of the running for the vacant manager's position at Carrow Road.

The 54-year-old Norway boss was rumoured to have been one of the more impressive candidates interviewed for the City job a year ago, but is now under contract until 2010 and looks like steering the national team in to the Euro 2008 finals.

Sources at the Norwegian FA revealed that they have received no contact from Norwich and would be very reluctant to let their popular manager leave without a fight.

It is a straight tussle between Norway, second in group C with 20 points, and third-placed Turkey, two points adrift, for the second qualifying spot behind Greece with two games to go.

Norway are in pole position to qualify with their next match being against Turkey, which takes place on Saturday, November 17, at home in Oslo at the Ullevaal Stadium with Malta their following opponents four days later.

Currently it does not look a difficult choice for Hareide to make with regards to going for the City job or staying put. The Canaries are second from bottom of the Championship, separated on goal difference from QPR, having lost six of their last seven matches while Euro success beckons for Hareide with Norway.

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Hareide, who enjoyed a two-year spell with City in the early 80s, has admitted, however, that he would quit the Norway job if he is not successful in steering the team to Austria and Switzerland next year.

He said: “It goes to say, really. I've had two chances, for the Worlds and European Championships. I won't be begging to get another chance of qualifying for the World Cup. I think something very special will have to happen for me to continue.”

It is highly unlikely, though, that the Canaries board would leave the door open long enough for him to return as they wait to see if Norway qualify or not.

City's form is worsening with each game and it does not look like getting any better soon as they face second-placed West Brom at the Hawthorns on Saturday and then derby rivals Ipswich, currently eighth in the table, at Carrow Road the following Sunday.

Bosses at Carrow Road had hoped to have someone in place for the match against the Baggies, but at the moment it is looking more likely that caretaker boss Jim Duffy will be in charge for that encounter while the search for a new manager continues.

Meanwhile, Simon Grayson is also being strongly linked with the post.

The Seasiders' boss is attracting the attention of various clubs after relentless success in his two years.

He has taken the Tangerines from League One relegation candidates to Championship status in 21 months at the helm and was been linked with the Leicester City job two months ago.

He may again be on the shortlist at the Walkers Stadium if Gary Megson departs to take over at Bolton.

But it's more likely at the minute that he will be attracting interest from Carrow Road.

Stoke City's Tony Pulis, former Leicester manager Martin Allen, Charlton number two Phil Parkinson and John Gregory are all believed to be in the running for the Norwich job.

But reports in the north-west suggest that Grayson is a very strong candidate.

The Norwich board has seen what the 36-year-old can do at close quarters when the Seasiders took the Canaries to an FA Cup replay before losing out in extra time.