Fowler keen on Victory gig

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Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler is interested in coaching Melbourne Victory. Picture: Albert Perez/Getty Images

Liverpool great Robbie Fowler wants to revive his A-League coaching career with Melbourne Victory.

Current Victory coach Tony Popovic seems headed for the exit door when his contract expires at the end the season, with sources telling News Corp Australia that the club continues to baulk at his asking price for a new deal.

Victory officials have been preparing for a coaching change, with the matter discussed at Monday night’s board meeting.

It’s understood Fowler has been added to a list of candidates that also includes former Melbourne City boss Patrick Kisnorbo, Adelaide United assistant Mark Milligan and Western United assistant Hayden Foxe.

Fowler, whose playing career included stints with the now defunct North Queensland Fury and Perth Glory, was appointed Brisbane Roar coach in 2019 but failed to complete a full season with the club after returning to England in March, 2020 when the competition went into recess during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Former Brisbane Roar mentor Robbie Fowler likes the look of the Melbourne Victory coaching job. Picture: Jono Searle/Getty Images

He didn’t return, and a bitter split ensued, with the Roar forced to pay Fowler compensation after he launched wrongful termination action with world football’s governing body, FIFA.

The former England international striker took charge of Indian Super League outfit East Bengal in October, 2020 but departed after one season.

Fowler’s most recent coaching job was in Saudi Arabia last year with Al-Qadsiah. Despite winning six out of eight league matches, he was sacked by the club after just four months.

Popovic has been linked with a return to Western Sydney, whose coach Marko Rudan is under pressure to retain his job despite having signed a three-year extension in January.

It’s also understood that Popovic might be interested in the Melbourne City coaching position currently occupied by Aurelio Vidmar.

Victory host the Wanderers at AAMI Park on Saturday night, with Rudan’s men needing to win to have any hope of playing finals football next month.

A Wanderers win will at least temporarily lift them into the top six and one point ahead of City.

Western Sydney would then require 11th-placed Western United to avoid defeat against City on Sunday at AAMI Park to secure sixth-place and a finals berth either through more points or more wins if Wanderers and City finish on same points.

While the Victory can no longer secure a top-two spot, they can cement third place with a win over the Wanderers, while a draw will also be enough to secure them a home elimination final.