Swansea City close in on Michael Laudrup for manager role
SWANSEA City are close to ending their search for a manager by appointing Michael Laudrup, the Evening Post can reveal.
Huw Jenkins is flying back into Wales tonight and hopes to put the finishing touches to the deal by Friday.
The Swansea chairman is refusing to comment on who will get the nod to succeed Brendan Rodgers.
But he told the Post last night that the Swansea hierarchy have made significant progress in their hunt for a new boss over the last few days.
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Jenkins is heading home this evening after an end-of-season break in Cyprus.
And it has been very much a working holiday as Jenkins has whittled down the list of candidates to take the reins from Rodgers.
"If I had not been able to make progress, I wouldn't have been in Cyprus," he stressed.
"We knew roughly what we were going to do even before I came out. That's what we've tried to get on with and obviously progress has been made.
"There's been quite a lot going on over the telephone, as you would imagine.
"I have been keeping in touch with everybody and in a way it's been good that because of the time of year, everybody has had a chance to think things through.
"Hopefully now I can get back home and bring the process to a conclusion.
"There are always things to consider and that will be the case for us right up until the last minute.
"I think you can see that with other clubs, like Liverpool and one or two others who have had managerial changes in recent times.
"Nothing is concluded until it is concluded.
"Until everything is ironed out and finalised, these things are never over the line."
Laudrup's representatives declined to comment on links with Swansea when contacted by the Post yesterday.
And it seems their silence speaks volumes with Swansea getting set to welcome one of the finest players of all time to their dugout.
It is thought that by the start of this week, Jenkins had whittled the shortlist of candidates down to just two names — Laudrup and Ian Holloway.
And it is understood Laudrup is now poised to win the battle for the job.
"As I have said previously, the average length of time it has taken us to appoint a manager in the past is 15 days," added Jenkins.
"That takes us up to Friday this time around, and I am hopeful that we will fit in again with our average.
"It's not a case of coming back and discussing things with the board of directors, because I have been in touch with them every day.
"We have been trying to push things forward this week and I am hopeful that we will soon get things sorted."
Laudrup is keen on managing in the English Premier League having previously coached in Spain, Russia and his homeland.
And it seems a CV which features a sparkling playing career and some impressive strides in management has impressed Swansea's decision-makers.
Former playmaker Laudrup is regarded as one of the great European footballers.
Laudrup was knighted in Denmark 12 years ago, and is seen as the greatest sportsman his country has ever produced.
As a player he won Serie A while at Juventus and lifted five straight La Liga titles, four with Barcelona and then one with Real Madrid. He also landed the European Cup while at Barca and later did the Dutch double with Ajax in the latter stages of his career.
Laudrup, 47, took his first steps in coaching as assistant coach of the Danish national side in 2000.
He enjoyed considerable success in his first manager's job at Brondby, where his assistant was former Arsenal midfielder John Jensen, who could link up with him once more at Swansea.
He then spent a season with unfancied Spanish side Getafe, leading them to the Copa Del Rey final and the quarter-finals of the Uefa Cup.
An unhappy seven-month stint at Spartak Moscow followed before Laudrup returned to Spain with Real Mallorca. He was soon impressing once more in La Liga, but resigned last autumn after his assistant lost his job.
Former Chelsea star Marcel Desailly, meantime, has claimed he was on Swansea's radar following Rodgers's departure.
"I was approached, but it is not the right time," said the Frenchman.
"Everything seemed fine, but it was too early."