Craig Bellamy set to be named Wales manager

Craig Bellamy coaching at Cardiff City
Craig Bellamy has a long-held ambition to coach Wales - Shutterstock

Craig Bellamy is set to be named the new Wales manager with Burnley expected to receive an official approach on Tuesday.

The 44-year-old has been chosen as the Football Association of Wales preferred candidate to succeed Rob Page who was sacked last month.

It is understood that the FAW decided on a three-strong shortlist with Bellamy emerging as first-choice.

The former Wales international remained at Burnley after the departure of Vincent Kompany to Bayern Munich.

Kompany’s successor Scott Parker, wants him to stay. The pair were team-mates at West Ham United and have a good relationship.

“The staff that are here at the football club, I’ve come in to obviously work with these staff,” Parker said at his Burnley unveiling on Monday after agreeing a three-year deal. “I’ve brought one member of staff with me in Jonathan Hill, who’s been with me since Spurs under-18s, Fulham and Bournemouth.

“The rest are here for us to work with. Work together and obviously try and be successful.”

Thierry Henry was a candidate

However it appears the lure of being a manager and to lead his country has been too much for Bellamy.

Bellamy has a long-held ambition to manage Wales who are looking for a new head coach after Page was dismissed following the failure to qualify for the European Championship.

Bellamy narrowly missed out to Ryan Giggs for job in 2018 impressed during talks with the FAW and will now get the chance to lead the side in qualification for the 2026 World Cup.

If, as expected, the appointment is confirmed Bellamy’s first game will be a Nations League home tie against Turkey on September 6, followed by a trip to Montenegro on September 9.

Bellamy made 78 appearances for Wales before retiring from international football in 2013.

He took his first moves into coaching with the academy at Cardiff City – his last club – before serving as assistant manager to Kompany at Anderlecht and then Burnley.

There were other candidates including Thierry Henry – but the timing was not right for the former Arsenal striker – and Anthony Barry, who was Thomas Tuchel’s assistant at Bayern Munich and is currently working with Portugal.

There was also interest from the FAW in Eric Ramsay, the head coach of Major League Soccer club Minnesota United and Andrew Crofts who is first-team coach at Brighton and Hove Albion.

Des Buckingham, who led Oxford United to promotion to the Championship, has also been mentioned but is not understood to have been a serious candidate.