Liverpool’s search for a new manager is due to end this week with an announcement expected on Friday.
Wigan’s Roberto Martinez had been the front-runner, only for Swansea’s Brendan Rodgers to take over as the bookmakers’ favourite yesterday.
The pair have been the two main candidates throughout the two-week process of whittling down contenders and it’s understood an announcement will be made on Friday.
Rodgers met with chairman Huw Jenkins yesterday afternoon but the club insist it was a scheduled appointment and he had not cut short his trip to America especially for it.
Swansea stress they have received no second approach from Liverpool — Rodgers having turned down their initial advances almost a fortnight ago — and it is understood the pair did not even discuss the Anfield vacancy at their meeting.
Yesterday Jenkins 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.
It read: “We would like to clarify the speculation in the press surrounding our manager Brendan Rodgers. We would like to confirm that there has been no contact from Liverpool and nothing has changed since our previous statement on the issue.”
On May 18 the south Wales club had said: “The club is pleased to confirm that Brendan has declined the current opportunity to speak to the Anfield club about the vacant position.’’
Yesterday’s statement did little to quash speculation and overnight bookmakers moved Rodgers ahead of Martinez.
Meanwhile Martinez has been given a deadline of tomorrow by Latics chairman Dave Whelan to decide his future. But it appears Rodgers is 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.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved