Japan have set an October deadline to appoint a new coach of the national team after a delay since this year's FIFA World Cup, reports the official AFC website. Takeshi Okada left the job after taking Japan to the second round of the World Cup.
Former Real Madrid coach Manuel Pellegrini and high-profile Dutchmen Marco van Basten and Ronald Koeman are among a long list of prospective candidates to have been linked with the job.
Japan Football Association (JFA) President Junji Ogura wants the new manager in place for an October 8 home friendly with Argentina and an away game with Asian rivals Korea Republic on October 12.
"We've thrown the ball to the candidates and now all we can do is wait for the reply," Ogura told the Nikkan Sports newspaper.
"It's not been easy this time. If talks break down we will have to go back to square one but I want a new coach in place for the two games in October."