According to sources with knowledge of the situation, Wynalda met with Gerard Houllier personally for over an hour on the West Coast to discuss the possibility of a move. This meeting follows an earlier encounter last week with Red Bulls General Manager Jerome de Bontin regarding the same topic.
Long time front-runner for the job Gary McAllister remains interested, but is demanding a hefty salary – rumored to be around the $2 million mark. The conversation has stalled at that price tag. Though McAllister turned an offer down to manage A-League side Sydney F.C., he has been mulling over the option of joining the Scottish national team as an assistant under Gordan Strachan – an offer that has been on the table since late November. Meanwhile, former Bolton boss Owen Coyle expressed interest in joining the organization, but his salary demands were lofty as well – likely around the $1.5 million range.
The Red Bulls spoke to other prospective American candidates over the past month, but none have commanded the audience of Houllier like Wynalda has. Of the known American options, which may also include Claudio Reyna according to one report, Wynalda seems to have the inside track. However, by no means does that make him the odds on favorite for the job.
Wynalda managed a young group of American castaways by the name of Cal F.C. to the fourth round of U.S. Open Cup play. From there, he inherited a slumping Atlanta Silverbacks side, leading the franchise to a 7-4-3 record after they were mired in a 5-28-9 slump. He has also worked on the consulting side, most notably with Liga MX Champions Club Tijuana and Mexican minnows Murcielago F.C.
Within Red Bull, there is a bit of a civil war over the direction of the club. Jerome de Bontin, who has enjoyed deep connections within U.S. Soccer circles, is adamant in his desire to bring in an American core to the managing ranks. That chorus has amplified as a deal for McAllister stalls. Meanwhile, Houllier and Roxburgh continue to insist on a veteran European with a broader track record to lead the squad.