Saturday, June 16, 2012

SWANSEA CLOSE TO UNVEILING FORMER REAL MADRID, BARCELONA GREAT MICHAEL LAUDRUP AS COACH

Premiership side Swansea City are close to revealing Michael Laudrup as their new manager.

The Swans hope to name the former Real Madrid, Barcelona and Denmark playmaker as Brendan Rodgers's successor over the weekend.


Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins, who is meeting with club staff at the Liberty Stadium, is in talks with the former Real Mallorca and Spartak Moscow boss.

It is thought Laudrup's style is in keeping with the playing philosophy that Jenkins is keen to retain.

The 47-year-old has previously spoken of his desire to manage in the Premier League.

Swansea, who finished 11th in their debut Premier League season, are searching for their fourth boss in three years after Rodgers accepted the Liverpool vacancy last month.

Blackpool boss Ian Holloway was the other leading candidate for the role, although the Seasiders have denied receiving any approach for the 49-year-old.

Former France captain Marcel Desailly, Wigan assisstant and ex - Swansea number two Greme Jones and Brighton and Hove Albion boss Gus Poyet had also been linked with the job.

Laudrup, who won five Spanish league titles with Barcelona and Real Madrid as a player between 1991 and 1995, played a style of attractive, passing football that would suit Swansea's philosophy.

He has been out of work since resigning as Mallorca manager, where he was in charge for 14 months, in September 2011 after the club sacked his assistant Erik Larsen.

Laudrup retired from playing while at Dutch giants Ajax and started his coaching career aged 36 as Denmark coach Morten Olsen's assistant in 2000.

He helped inspire the Danish team to win their 2002 World Cup pool, which included Uruguay, Senegal and reigning champions France, before they were beaten 3-0 by England in Niigata.

Laudrup took the manager's job at Danish side Brondby after the World Cup in South Korea and Japan and he guided the side to the 2005 league and cup double with a young squad playing an attractive short-passing game, similar to Swansea's brand.

He was linked with a managerial vacancy at former club Real Madrid when he left Brondby in 2006 before Laudrup joined Spanish side Getafe, who he guided to the 2008 Spanish Cup final and the Uefa Cup quarter-final.

Laudrup was reportedly a contender for jobs at Valencia, Benfica, Chelsea, Blackburn Rovers and West Ham United when he resigned as Getafe boss in May 2008 but took over at Spartak Moscow in September 2008.

He was dismissed seven months later following their Russian Cup loss to Dynamo Moscow and was heavily linked with Spanish side Atletico Madrid but Laudrup and the club were unable to agree terms.

He was appointed Mallorca manager in July 2010 and kept a struggling team in Spain's La Liga but left the club citing frustration in his working relationship with director of football Lorenzo Serra Ferrer.

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