Former Derby boss to take over at Swansea

Former Derby boss to take over at Swansea

Swansea are set to appoint Paul Clement as their new manager, it is understood.

Clement, the former Derby boss and current Bayern Munich assistant, has been in talks with Swansea over the last 24 hours to become the club's third manager of the season.

And it is understood that the deal could be finalised over the next 48 hours before Swansea - who will head into 2017 bottom of the Premier League - visit Crystal Palace on Tuesday.

Bob Bradley - who succeeded Francesco Guidolin in October - saw his 85-day reign come to an end after the 4-1 Boxing Day defeat to West Ham.

Clement emerged as the favourite to succeed Bradley after number one target Chris Coleman, the Wales manager, chose to close the door on making an emotional return to his home-town club.

The 44-year-old was interviewed for the position when Bradley was appointed, and the Swansea hierarchy were impressed enough with Clement to return to him after sacking the American on Tuesday.

Clement has an excellent reputation as a coach having worked as Carlo Ancelotti's assistant at Chelsea, Paris St Germain, Real Madrid and Bayern.

But his only job in management at Derby lasted just eight months before he was surprisingly sacked in February 2016.

Derby were fifth in the Championship at the time, having been top of the table on St Stephen's Day.

Club owner Mel Morris said he was unhappy with the team's style of play and sacked Clement after the Rams had gone seven games without a win.

Clement's managerial skills will certainly be tested in south Wales as Swansea face a huge task to avoid relegation.

Bournemouth's 3-0 win at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday leaves them bottom with 12 points at the halfway stage of the campaign.

Caretaker boss Alan Curtis oversaw a fourth straight league defeat and says confidence is so low that it will be difficult for the new manager to spark a recovery.

"It showed today it's going to be very difficult," Curtis said. "But I believe - naively or not - that there should be enough there to get better results.

"I think the first goal is crucial for us because once we concede the confidence drains from us.

"Confidence in sport, especially football, is a fragile thing.

"There's no explanation apart from we're bottom of the table, not winning games, conceding too many.

"Maybe if we had not conceded the second and gone in at 1-0 we could have reorganised.

"But Bournemouth did to us what we used to do to teams."

Bournemouth will welcome in the new year in 10th place having ended a run of two successive defeats.

Benik Afobe and Ryan Fraser put the Cherries in command before the break and substitute Josh King wrapped up Bournemouth's second away win of the season two minutes from time.

"It was a good day for us," boss Eddie Howe said.

"We started very strongly and the big difference between today and previous weeks was that we took our chances.

"It was really good to see us be clinical in front of goal and keep a clean sheet."

Bournemouth entertain Arsenal on Tuesday night and Howe insists the Cherries cannot look too far forward.

"It is a difficult league," Howe said. "With one win you can look up and think what can we achieve, with a couple of defeats you can look over your shoulder nervously and think how will this season pan out for us.

"We're still in that moment as a team where we haven't consolidated any consistent run. That's what we're looking to do.

"The players have the ability to respond to disappointments and the ability to produce, individually, some very good performances.

"So it's a case of trying to do it on a more consistent basis will be the key for us."

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