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Postecoglou’s assistant the front runner for Melbourne Victory job

Yokohama F Marinos assistant coach Arthur Papas has emerged as the frontrunner for the vacant Melbourne Victory job, with the A-League club in final negotiations with Ange Postecoglou’s trusted lieutenant.

After failing in bids to land Greek coach Traianos Dellas and Wellington Phoenix mentor Ufuk Talay, sources close to Victory have indicated Papas is now the firm favourite to take charge of the club.

Papas, left, celebrates Yokohama F. Marinos' title win last season with Ange Postecoglou and Peter Cklamovski.

Papas, left, celebrates Yokohama F. Marinos’ title win last season with Ange Postecoglou and Peter Cklamovski.Credit:Getty Images

The 40-year-old Australian is one of the final three candidates for the job, with interim coach Grant Brebner and former Brisbane Roar mentor John Aloisi considered outside chances. Sources suggested the Victory board is set to make a decision over the weekend.

The Victory position will be Papas’ first as a head coach in the A-League after years working in the NPL, India, Saudi Arabia and Japan. He was a key member of Postecoglou’s coaching staff alongside compatriot Peter Cklamovski as Yokohama won the J-League title last year.

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