Raymond Verheijen believes the Welsh FA should consider foreign boss

Osian Roberts, Raymond Verheijen and Gary Speed
Roberts, Verheijen and Speed were Wales' managerial team for 12 months

Raymond Verheijen believes Wales should consider appointing a first foreign manager for 13 years if he is "perfect" to continue Gary Speed's legacy.

Wales assistant Verheijen has warned the Football Association of Wales not to "turn their back on Speed's legacy" when appointing the next Wales manager.

Verheijen and Osian Roberts want to continue in Wales' backroom team.

Former Fulham boss Chris Coleman is interested and the favourite to succeed Speed, who died in November.

"I'm not Welsh myself so for me it is probably different but I can understand the FAW will look for Welsh opportunities first to protect the Welsh football identity," said Verheijen.

"But if necessary we have to bring in someone from abroad who is perfect for this role."

France's 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championship winning captain Marcel Desailly has been linked with the managerial vacancy.

The 43-year-old, who has no managerial experience, completed his Uefa A-License coaching qualifications in Wales under the guidance of Roberts in October 2010.

Verheijen, meanwhile, has worked under fellow Dutchman Guus Hiddink, the former Chelsea and Real Madrid manager, during stints with the Netherlands, Russia and South Korea at various World Cups.

Wales have had two foreign managers when Mike Smith had two spells in the 1970s and 1990s, while fellow Englishman Bobby Gould was Wales' last foreign manager in a tumultuous reign between 1995 and 1999.

Wales star Gareth Bale has told Welsh FA bosses it would be "absolutely ridiculous" to make significant changes to the Wales management, while captain Aaron Ramsey is frustrated because he says he has not been consulted by the FAW on who to succeed Speed.

"All of the countries that I've worked in, the captain is also the central figure and it is very normal to consult him especially in all of these very delicate of circumstances," said Verheijen.

"If the FAW keep everything intact and secure this winning and successful formula, we are on the verge of maybe a fairytale.

"But if they bring in a new manager with new ideas within a few months and change things then I'm afraid this winning formula will disappear within months."

Wales won four of their last five internationals before Speed's shock death in November and in the Fifa rankings as they ended 2011 48th in the world after starting the year in 113th place.

Verheijen hopes the FAW heed his and Bale's advice of retaining their current backroom staff alongside a "figurehead". Verheijen has suggested Ryan Giggs or Ian Rush.

Premier League champions Manchester United have turned down the Welsh FA's request to talk to former Wales captain Giggs about succeeding Speed, , while Rush is Wales' record goalscorer.

Wales begin their in September and Verheijen believes they are "well on our way" to qualifying for their first major finals since the 1958 World Cup.

"Of all of the countries that I worked with, I've never seen a squad with so much talented players of the same generation at the same time at the same place," he said.

"So that is the key for Wales' success.

"Qualifying is a big challenge but we have a very good chance."

The Football Association of Wales has assembled a six-man panel, led by president Phil Pritchard, to appoint Speed's replacement.

No discussions have taken place with any potential candidates, according to the FAW, and chief executive Jonathan Ford has said it is "too early" to say whether an appointment will be made before their next friendly with Costa Rica in Cardiff on 29 February.