Eriksson may join Manchester City

AP

The former England manager has not signed a pre-contract agreement and therefore remains open to other offers, but City hope he will be true to his word and negotiations have begun with the Swedish football association about freeing Roland Anderson to become his No. 2. By Daniel Taylor.

Sven-Goran Eriksson is close to announcing his second coming in English football after informing Manchester City that he wants to be a part of the Thaksin Shinawatra revolution. He has verbally agreed to a three-year deal worth about £2m a year, with significant bonuses, and there will be an official announcement as soon as Thaksin has built the 75% stake necessary to take the club off the stock market. Thaksin currently owns about 67% and, with the club’s share holders having been recommended to accept his £81.6m takeover bid, the deal should be completed soon. As soon as that is confirmed Eriksson will be ushered in, and the club hope to arrange a friendly against Real Madrid as his first match.

The former England manager has not signed a pre-contract agreement and therefore remains open to other offers, but City hope he will be true to his word and negotiations have begun with the Swedish football association about freeing Roland Andersson to become his No. 2. Eriksson has been working on a list of possible transfers with Andersson, currently Sweden’s assistant manager, and there will be moves for, among others, Freddie Ljungberg of Arsenal and Yossi Benayoun of West Ham United.

Eriksson was 119-1 with the bookmakers at one point, with little or no support within the club’s boardroom, but Thaksin made a personal request for the 59-year-old to be approached and the former Thai prime minister’s advisers, predominantly the former Football League chairman Keith Harris, have struck a deal worth about three times the amount City’s previous manager, Stuart Pearce, was earning.

However, City issued a statement reiterating that they were still talking to other “managerial candidates”, aware there is the possibility Eriksson may change his mind. Mark Hughes, the Blackburn Rovers and former Wales manager, is the fall-back option and his current employers at Ewood Park will be dismayed to learn that their manager is reputedly keen on the job.

© Guardian Newspapers Limited 2007