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Page last updated at 17:46 GMT, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 18:46 UK

Croatia deal ends Bilic jobs link

By Mandeep Sanghera

Croatia manager Slaven Bilic
Bilic says he has had offers from a few Premier league clubs

Slaven Bilic has agreed a contract extension to stay on as Croatia boss until the 2010 World Cup.

Bilic has been linked as a contender to take over at Manchester City as well as reportedly being a target for former club West Ham.

But he told BBC Sport: "I decided I am going to sign a new contract.

"If I wanted to go I could as I had really great offers from clubs that have approached me but I decided I am going to stay."

Bilic won admirers for the way he has guided Croatia to Euro 2008, with his team finishing top of Group E and effectively eliminating England.

Croatia beat England 3-2 at Wembley in the final group game to drop them into third place behind fellow qualifiers Russia.

And Bilic insists that although he still has ambitions to manage in the Premier League, he first wants to help Croatia qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Croatia have again been paired with England in the qualifying groups for the World Cup, the group being completed by Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Andorra.

"I told them (the Croatian Football Federation) three or four weeks ago I am going to sign whatever they give me," he said.

"It wasn't like a negotiation. I told them I will sign a blank paper because I've decided to stay.

There were offers from a few Premier League clubs and a few from abroad

Slaven Bilic

"I'm staying because I love my country and, despite really good offers that I have had, I think two years is maybe too little to stay as a national team coach.

"On the other side, it is not all down to me. You never know in football. You can't plan in football for a long period.

"You don't know what is going to happen in those two years, they could sack me. I hope those clubs will still be interested in me.

"One thing that I definitely know is that I am going to be a better manager than now.

"But you don't know how results will be. We are in a difficult group for qualifying for the World Cup.

"All I can say is that I want to stay in my country and I decided to stay as coach of the national team, despite my big wish and ambition to be a club manager, especially in the Premier League.

"I will do that one day. I would like to stay for another qualification cycle as a national team coach and then go."

606: DEBATE
I think there are some hooligans in the park again

Bilic says clubs from England are interested in acquiring his services but says he has resisted because of timing rather than waiting for the right job.

"There were offers from a few Premier League clubs and a few from abroad," he said.

"The bottom line is I didn't refuse these offers because I wasn't happy with the size of the clubs or money.

"It was great clubs and money but the reason is that my country needs me and I am happy there."




see also
Bilic cools Premier League links
13 Mar 08 |  Football
England 'wilted under pressure'
22 Nov 07 |  Internationals
Bilic targets Premier League job
20 Nov 07 |  Internationals
Bilic's vision
10 Oct 06 |  Football


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