Kevin Muscat eyeing 'new challenge' as ex-Rangers manager candidate quits Yokohama F. Marinos

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The Australian was interviewed for the Rangers job in October and has since been linked with vacant Sunderland role

Former Rangers managerial candidate Kevin Muscat is seeking a "new challenge" after announcing his resignation as Yokohama F. Marinos boss.

The 50-year-old former Socceroos defender succeeded ex-Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou in the hot seat at the J-League club in 2021 and led them to the title and Japanese Super Cup.

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However, Muscat has decided to pursue other opportunities after enhancing his reputation as a manager during his two-and-a-half year spell in the Far East, having previously enjoyed success at Melbourne Victory.


The Australian - who won a domestic Treble during his season-long loan stint at Ibrox in season 2002/03 - was interviewed for the Ibrox job by CEO James Bisgrove and chairman John Bennett in October as they searched for Michael Beale's successor. But he lost out narrowly on the role to Philippe Clement, who continued his unbeaten start to life in Glasgow courtesy of a 1-0 Scottish Premiership win over Hearts at Tynecastle on Wednesday night.

It's understood Muscat has ambitions of managing in Europe as he looks to take the next step in his career. Admired for his attacking style of football, he has been linked with the vacant Sunderland job in recent days.

Confirming his departure after Marinos missed out on the J-League title this season to Vissel Kobe, Muscat said: "First of all, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to take charge of this special club. This Wednesday will be my last game as a member of the Marinos family. There are many people to whom I would like to express my gratitude.

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"Thank you very much to Chairman Takayuki Hata, President Akihiro Nakayama, former President Ryoji Kurosawa, all the executives, partners and sponsors, and the hometown residents of Yokohama City, Yokosuka City, and Yamato City for your tremendous support to date. Thank you very much.

"I would also like to express my gratitude to the team management staff, coaching staff, medical staff, and all staff involved in the club who supported me by my side. Thank you very much for your warm welcome over the two and a half years since I came to Japan.

"I also want to express my gratitude to the players who expressed what I wanted on the pitch. I think their daily efforts and attitude were truly amazing. They exemplified attacking football, racked up points and goals, and played exciting soccer.

"Lastly, let me say this. The most important thing for any club is the fans and supporters. I can't imagine how much your support has helped me. We created some unforgettable memories together. I feel very sad to leave the Marinos family, but I wish Yokohama F. Marinos good health and success with the best memories in my heart. Thank you very much for the past two and a half years. Thank you from the bottom of my heart."

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Chief executive Akihiro Nakayama commented: "Manager Kevin Muscat has stepped down as the manager of Yokohama F. Marinos and will be aiming for a new challenge. We would like to express our gratitude to coach Muscat for his many accomplishments, and we would like to continue playing deeper attacking football and continue to be a club that can deliver dreams and vitality to everyone.

"It was a difficult choice for the club, but after repeated discussions, the club respected Coach Muscat's wishes and reached a mutual agreement. As the Marinos family, we would like to support Coach Muscat in his new challenge. We hope that our fans and supporters, our partners and sponsors, our hometown residents of Yokohama, Yokosuka and Yamato, and everyone else involved will understand Coach Muscat's decision and the club's decision."

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