Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers found himself at the centre of Liverpool’s search for a successor to Kenny Dalglish after speculation linking him with the Anfield vacancy mounted yesterday.
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez had been the long-time front-runner but Rodgers’ return from a short trip to New York sparked the rumour mill into life.
It is understood an appointment at Anfield could be made by the weekend but as of yesterday evening Swansea insisted they had not received a second approach from the Reds for their manager.
The 39-year-old met with chairman Huw Jenkins at the Liberty Stadium in what the club stressed was a meeting scheduled well before reports emerged suggesting Liverpool’s owners, Fenway Sports Group, were prepared to try their luck with the Northern Irishman again having been rebuffed once.
The pair did not even discuss the Anfield vacancy, Press Association Sport understands, with the primary topic of conversation being transfers.
Swansea are on the verge of completing a club-record £6.8m transfer for on-loan Hoffenheim midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson and are interested in a loan deal for Tottenham’s out-of-favour Giovani dos Santos – whom Rodgers watched on Sunday as a guest of the Football Association of Wales for the friendly against Mexico in New Jersey.
However, despite suggestions elsewhere that Rodgers had already been offered the Liverpool job, the club refused to comment officially on their manager’s position.
Jenkins on Monday dismissed the Reds’ renewed interest as “pure speculation” and the club issued a statement to stress their position had not changed from two weeks ago, when Rodgers turned down the chance to speak to Liverpool.
That statement did little to quash speculation and by yesterday morning Rodgers had moved ahead of Martinez – who flew into Manchester Airport from the Caribbean to be confronted by a television camera crew and photographers but left without commenting – in the betting.
The Spaniard has been given a deadline to decide his future of tomorrow by Latics chairman Dave Whelan.
But he touched down in England to reports suggesting Rodgers was now in the driving seat despite having turned down Liverpool first time around because, it was suggested, he did not want to become involved in a lengthy process with up to 12 names mentioned at the time.
There have been growing murmurings in Wales and his native Northern Ireland that Rodgers would now be more receptive to the Reds with the list of candidates having been whittled down.