Ex-Newport coach on verge of Anfield move

Daily Echo: BRENDAN RODGERS BRENDAN RODGERS

Former Newport (IoW) coach Brendan Rodgers is set to leave Swansea City to become the new manager of Liverpool.

Swansea have confirmed that Rodgers, who played for Newport before beginning his coaching career at St George's Park, wants to go to Anfield.

The 39-year-old Northern Irishman rejected an initial approach from Fenway Sports Group (FSG) due to the large number of candidates reportedly being considered for the role.

But FSG, who had already held talks with Wigan boss Roberto Martinez, made a renewed approach to Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins last night, with Rodgers on this occasion keen to hold discussions with Anfield chiefs.

Those talks were held this afternoon and Rodgers has asked to leave so he can become Kenny Dalglish's successor, with the two clubs now holding discussions over compensation.

Jenkins said in a statement: "I was contacted by Liverpool last night and they expressed their wish to speak to Brendan regarding their vacancy.

"I had a discussion with Brendan to talk about their interest and his views on whether he wanted to speak to Liverpool.

"He expressed his wish with me to do that and he has spoken to Liverpool today.

"Following on from discussions with Liverpool's owners Brendan has informed us that he would like to take up their offer to manage Liverpool.

"At the moment we are currently in talks with the owners to agree compensation.

"We hope to finalise that within the next 24 hours."

Rodgers has reportedly already agreed a three-year deal at Anfield, although sources at Liverpool told Press Association Sport this was "categorically untrue".

Rodgers' decision comes a year to the day since he guided Swansea to the Premier League with victory over his former club Reading in the play-off final at Wembley.

Having rebuffed Liverpool's initial approach events have moved on rapidly since Rodgers returned from a holiday in New York on Monday, where he watched Wales' friendly defeat to Mexico as a guest of the Football Association of Wales.

Rodgers had held talks with Jenkins on Tuesday, but the club insisted those discussions were over plans for the new season, and had nothing to do with any approach from Liverpool.

But the Swans, who are set to receive between £4million and £5million in compensation due to a clause in the three-and-a-half year deal Rodgers signed in February, will now have to plan their search for a replacement.

And while disappointed by Rodgers' decision, Jenkins thanked the former Chelsea reserve team boss for a memorable two seasons in charge.

"Although we are disappointed to lose such a talented, young British manager, we didn't wish to stand in his way," he said.

"As always at Swansea City, we want people working here who are fully committed to the task ahead.

"We wish Brendan every success in the future.

"We will always remain good friends and we thank him for all his hard work and passion at this football club over the past two years.

"We shall now refocus and quickly start the process of finding his replacement to continue the great work Brendan has carried out at this football club."

Jenkins and the Swansea board will face a tricky search for Rodgers' replacement.

The attractive possession style of play employed by the club has won plenty of plaudits, and the first-team squad has been put together with that in mind.

And Swansea may find it difficult to find a replacement for Rodgers who would be prepared to wholeheartedly embrace his philosophy.

An idea of how quickly events have unfolded is shown by the fact that Rodgers was set to complete his first summer signing later this week.

Iceland international Gylfi Sigurdsson is due in south Wales for a medical having agreed terms on a club record £6.8million move from Hoffenheim, although it remains to be seen if Rodgers' decision to leave has any impact on the deal.

Rodgers was also understood to have enquired about the availability of Tottenham forward Giovani Dos Santos, who he watched in New York on Sunday.

There will also be fears among Swansea fans that Rodgers may look to prise some of the club's key figures away from the Liberty Stadium, with midfielder Joe Allen and defender Ashley Williams both players that he has huge admiration for.

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