Italian Marco Tardelli is the leading contender to replace axed Kwesi Appiah as Black Stars coach, as Dutch legend Patrick Kluivert has reportedly pulled out of the race.

Tardelli, 60, is among five coaches who have been short-listed for the job, according to the Ghana Football Association, which Kluivert was a contender for as the youngest among the short listed interviewees.

The decision leaves the FA with four candidates in contention; including the highly tipped Italian Marco Tardelli, ex-Chelsea boss Avram Grant, Swiss Michel Pont and Spaniard Juan Ignacio Jimenez to jostle for the top position.

The Italian legend stands tall to handle the Black Stars anytime soon as he currently manages English championship side Watford and his appointment will come as no surprise due to his rich Curriculum Vitae (CV).

The GFA is looking for a replacement for Kwesi Appiah, who was sacked some weeks ago despite leading the national team to bag four points from two games in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

The Ghana FA is expected to name a new coach by the close of the month to supervise the remaining matches in the qualifying campaign for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco.