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Who next for Melbourne City?

AAP logoAAP 3/01/2017 Ben McKay

Melbourne City are on the hunt for just their third coach in the club's seven-year history following John van 't Schip's resignation.

The club is conducting a global search, emphasising there's no rush on appointing a new coach with experienced assistant Michael Valkanis at the helm in a caretaker capacity.

That means a new coach could be appointed as soon as this month, or as far away as the end of the season.

City football boss Michael Petrillo and City Football Group chief Brian Marwood have been tasked with creating a shortlist to take to senior City executives Simon Pearce and Scott Munn.

It's highly unlikely the club will recycle an A-League figure.

Instead, City will be looking abroad as they did with van 't Schip, or turning to the next generation of Australian talent, as they did with John Aloisi.

Any coach will need to have their badges; a Pro Licence is required to take the helm at A-League level and it's unlikely Football Federation Australia will allow an incoming manager to fall short of this requirement.

With such a broad search, it's impossible to predict City's shortlist but here are a few candidates will be assessed in the coming weeks - as well as a few roughies.

POSSIBLES

Graham Arnold: If City Football Group want the best, who better than the coach of the leading club in Australia? Arnold has already been linked to the club as van 't Schip's successor at season's end when van 't Schip signalled he would leave. Arnold's recently-signed contract extension could add another zero to the payout that City would have to pay, but given the resources available to the club, an approach could be possible.

Ante Milicic: Overlooked as senior coach to replace van 't Schip in 2012 in a major sliding doors moment for both the club and the coach. Milicic hasn't looked back, assisting Tony Popovic at Western Sydney before moving to work with Ange Postecoglou and the Socceroos. Unlikely to shift lanes given the personal history involved and the challenge of helping Australia to the World Cup, but highly regarded by all and sundry in the sport.

Josep Gombau: Gombau spent two seasons at Adelaide United and had the A-League spellbound by his tiki-taka tactics. After a brief hiatus, he's now in the Socceroos coaching setup alongside Milicic and oversees the Olyroos. But there's very little action for Australia's under-23s any time soon and Gombau could find his way back to the A-League if City want a passionate heart-and-soul manager.

Guillermo Amor: Could be on the way out at Adelaide United despite his title heroics last season - but that's surely a problem with talent retention at the Reds and not his ability as a coach. The Barcelona great is highly regarded around the league and if he's given the boot from United, could be one of the very few ex-A-League coaches considered by City.

LONG SHOTS

Guus Hiddink: There's no more popular figure in Australian football than 'Aussie Guus', the man that led the Socceroos to the drought-bursting 2006 World Cup in Germany and through to the round of 16. The journeyman coach last worked with Chelsea after the sacking of Jose Mourinho during the previous English Premier League campaign - does the 70-year-old have enough in him for one last club job? It likely that only City Football Group could coax him to return.

Harry Kewell: Kewell last played for Melbourne Heart and has been quoted as looking at the A-League as a possible first senior coaching role. But the legendary Socceroo is loving life at English Premier League club Watford and has his eyes set on building a career in England or Europe. Not zero chance, but would need to be seriously swayed by City Football Group.

John Aloisi: They say never go back, but van 't Schip has already shown it's possible at City. Aloisi was hounded out of the club after a torrid spell in charge but has rebuilt his coaching reputation at Brisbane Roar. There was no love lost between van 't Schip and Aloisi in recent meetings but that animosity doesn't run deep at City.

Michael Valkanis: The long-term Adelaide United assistant joined City in the off-season and has been given the reins in the interim. With City very much in the title mix this season, how could the club overlook him if the one-time Socceroo defender leads the team to glory?

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