sO LONG Santana, HELLO Parreira

CARLOS Alberto Parreira isheading back to South Africa to renew ties with Bafana Bafana, Sowetan has it on good authority.

CARLOS Alberto Parreira isheading back to South Africa to renew ties with Bafana Bafana, Sowetan has it on good authority.

Sources at Safa revealed yesterday that its top brass has already approached the former national coach and that the Brazilian has informed them he was more than ready to coach Bafana Bafana again.

Parreira, who unlike the incumbent Joel Santana, is fluent in English, unceremoniously quit Bafana Bafana in June last year to be closer to his wife who was ill at the time.

Interestingly, Parreira is expected to replace Santana, the man he recommended for the job. The two coaches are also close friends.

Sowetan gathered from reliable sources close to the negotiations that Parreira, who earned a coolR1,8million a month as Bafana coach, did not even think twice when he was asked if he was prepared to accept the job. Santana is presently earning R1,4million a month.

The unsuccessful Santana could soon be unemployed after tonight's international friendly against 96th Fifa-ranked Iceland in Reykjavík.

Safa are said to be so disappointed with the burly Brazilian mentor that even if Bafana did beat Iceland, Santana would still be given his marching orders.

Asked what would happen to Santana should Bafana lose to Iceland, Safa deputy president Mwelo Nonkonyana said: "The management committee of Safa will hold an urgent meeting on Friday for a decision.

"The management will meet to discuss reports from three assessors (Jomo Sono, Gavin Hunt and Clive Barker) and I will also give mine as head of delegation. The three assessors will watch the game together on television."

The assessors could not travel with the squad after failing to get their visas on time.

Regarding the possible return of Parreira, a highly-placed Safa senior official said: "I spoke to him last week and he is very much ready to help Bafana Bafana again.

"Despite having returned to Brazil last June, Parreira has been following the developments of Bafana with keen interest.

"Parreira has made it clear he will only take the job back if there is no head coach in charge of Bafana.

"His wife is fine now, so the man can be on the first plane to South Africa if Safa sent him an SOS," said the source.

The highly decorated Brazilian coach, who won the World Cup coaching Brazil, could not be reached for comment.

Santana is also aware that his days as Bafana coach are numbered, with the new leadership of Safa having told him in no uncertain terms that failure in Europe would signal the end of his career in South Africa.