Liverpool on brink of deal for Rodgers as Swansea boss prepares for Anfield move
13:08 GMT, 30 May 2012
Brendan Rodgers is on the verge of sealing his deal to become Liverpool's next manager.
It is understood that the Swansea boss is close to agreeing a switch to take over the Anfield reins.
Rodgers is now set to be installed in the next 48 hours.
Heading the betting: Brendan Rodgers is now fancied for the Liverpool job
He usurped Roberto Martinez as favourite
to take over from Kenny Dalglish and his chairman Huw Jenkins has
admitted he would not stand in Rodgers' way if he expresses a desire to
leave the Liberty Stadium.
Wigan manager Martinez, who has also
talked to Aston Villa, looked like he was holding all the aces after a
meeting with Liverpool's principal owner John W Henry in Miami last
Thursday, but it is understood that further negotiations with the
Spaniard broke down when it became apparent that Rodgers was Anfield's
Liverpool have conducted a painstaking search to find Dalglish's successor since sacking the legendary Scot two weeks ago.
And their approach has drawn heavy criticism from Jenkins, who insisted he would have gone about his business differently.
In the spotlight: Roberto Martinez jetted back into Manchester after his holiday
There is also an irony that Rodgers
has emerged as the outstanding candidate to take over at Anfield, given
that he was the first manager to rule himself out of the running when
the initial interview process started with a dozen candidates 12 days
understands his stance was partially dictated by a reluctance to
undermine his position at Swansea, but it has always been the intention
of Fenway Sports Group, Liverpool's American owners, to speak with the
Northern Irishman this week.
Replacement: Rodgers is set to take over from Dalglish at Anfield
Rodgers, 39, and Jenkins had a
two-hour meeting at the Liberty Stadium when Swansea insist Liverpool's
interest was not discussed, but that seems unlikely considering Jenkins'
strong feelings on the two-week saga and his desperation to keep one of
the hottest young managerial properties in the game.
Jenkins said: 'If I was in charge of
Liverpool I would be going about my business differently. 'What they
are doing is not how I would do it. I don't want to say what I would do
differently but I have not been too happy.
All smiles: Martinez will turn to Villa
'This is the kind of silly thing that
happens at this point of the season. There has not been another
approach since the first one and we've had to answer a lot of questions
based on speculation.'
Liverpool now want to bring the
process to a swift conclusion. Henry and chairman Tom Werner have
arrived on Merseyside, with Werner set to attend a Premier League
meeting on Thursday.
Provided talks go smoothly, Liverpool may make an official announcement before the weekend.
FSG are determined to implement a new
coaching structure at Anfield and former Bayern Munich and Ajax coach
Louis van Gaal has also been lined up as sporting director.
Martinez is left facing a 24-hour
wait to discover whether his talks with Liverpool have cost him the
chance to succeed Alex McLeish at Villa.
Club owner Randy Lerner was
informed by the Spaniard's representatives yesterday that the Latics
boss would now be prepared to press ahead with his candidacy after talks
between the two parties at Villa Park last week.
But Martinez has been informed that
Villa have looked elsewhere since the talks, and it is believed
Norwich's Paul Lambert is now also under consideration.
Villa want the matter resolved by the weekend and will open talks with the club of their choice in the next two days.
Martinez is in danger of paying the price for a failure to declare his outright determination to land the post.
He was Lerner's first-choice 12
months ago – before the calamitous decision was taken to appoint McLeish
- and has only enhanced his reputation since.