Eriksson linked with Benfica return

Eriksson linked with Benfica return

Sven-Goran Eriksson’s future prospects may have taken another twist after it was reported he has been approached by Portuguese side Benfica.

The Swede is expected to be sacked as Manchester City manager at the end of the season with owner Thaksin Shinawatra reportedly unhappy at the team’s recent form.

Benfica are remaining coy on the possibility of Eriksson returning to the club 16 years after the first of his two spells with the Portugal giants.

A delegation from Benfica including president Luis Felipe Vieira and captain Rui Costa, the club’s future sporting director, were filmed by Portuguese broadcaster SIC in a hotel in Manchester where the former England boss had also reportedly been.

The club refused to confirm anybody from Benfica had met with Eriksson or offered him a contract.

Benfica spokesman Ricardo Maia told PA Sport: “We will not comment on any suggestions of a future Benfica coach now.

“Whether someone is or is not in Manchester to try to persuade Eriksson, we have nothing to say about it.”

Eriksson has been linked with Benfica since Antonio Camacho quit after declaring himself “unable to motivate the squad”.

Benfica risk missing out on a Champions League spot for next season after a disappointing season.

They are fourth in the SuperLiga, three points behind rivals Sporting Lisbon.

Meanwhile, Luiz Felipe Scolari’s spokesman has denied the Portugal coach has received an offer from City to replace Eriksson.

Acaz Fellegger was reported to have said the Brazilian coach may meet with City bosses before Euro 2008.

However, yesterday he told Portuguese newspaper Record Scolari has at no point been in contact with Manchester City and will not make any decision on his future until after the tournament in Austria and Switzerland.

“Nobody has contacted Luiz Felipe Scolari,” Fellegger said.

“Just as has happened in the last two major international tournaments (Euro 2004 and 2006 World Cup), Scolari alone will decide his future after Euro 2008.

“Any club who has any interest in Scolari is completely free to contact the coach.

“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.”

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