Thaksin leaves Eriksson in limbo

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Thaksin leaves Eriksson in limbo

Post by sulehri on Wed May 07, 2008 10:37 pm

Thaksin Shinawatra has thrown Manchester City into further confusion by saying he has not made a decision about Sven-Goran Eriksson's future.

BBC Sport understands Eriksson has been told he will be sacked at the end of the season and Luiz Felipe Scolari has been approached as a replacement.

But City owner Thaksin claimed: "We have made no decision. We will do an evaluation at the end of the season."

Portugal coach Scolari is expected to decide his future after Euro 2008.

"Any club who has any interest in Scolari is completely free to contact the coach," Scolari spokesman Acaz Fellegger told Portuguese newspaper Record.

"But the truth is that there has been no approach and Scolari has repeatedly stated that his future will only be decided after the Euro tournament."

Thaksin, speaking at a golf tournament in Beijing, would not be drawn on whether the club was interested in the Portugal coach, or former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, who has also been linked with the City post.

"They all - Sven, Scolari, Mourinho - they are great coaches, great managers," he said.

However, he did admit that he had told Eriksson he was unhappy with City's dip in form which saw them fall out of contention for European football.

"During the season, we may complain for improvement but that's normal for every club," said the former Thai prime minister.

"But we will discuss at the end of the season what needs to be changed, what needs to be added to the success of the club."

Despite Thaksin's claims to the contrary, a source close to Eriksson has told BBC Sport that the former England coach will be sacked at the end of the season.

And BBC Sport also understands that contact has already been made between City and Scolari's representatives in a bid to bring him to Eastlands, with a deal worth a reported 3.2m-a-year ready to be rubber-stamped.

Scolari, 59, is believed to be interested in succeeding Eriksson - but wants to wait until after Euro 2008 before making a decision.

Scolari has also previously been reluctant to uproot his family from Portugal and cited intrusion into his private life as one of the reasons he rejected the chance to succeed Eriksson as England coach in 2006.

Thaksin, on the other hand, is thought to want a swift answer from Scolari.

City fans have reacted angrily to Eriksson's imminent departure and Thaksin hopes to head off further unrest with a quick announcement that he has captured the man who won the World Cup with Brazil in 2002.

Despite his treatment at the hands of Shinawatra, Eriksson is willing to lead City on their post-season tour of Thailand and Hong Kong next week, a source close to the Swede has told BBC Sport.

The source said it was "business as usual" for Eriksson and his coaching team and that no further talks were planned with Shinawatra before the end of the season.

If City fail to land Scolari, they are likely to turn their attention to Slaven Bilic, even though he signed a new contract with Croatia last week.

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