Musical chairs – part two
Leeds United believe they have found the right man in Kevin Blackwell to take them back to the Premiership. The 44-year old believes in a hands-on approach and will not tolerate any prima donna behaviour either on or off the pitch.
Meanwhile, Liverpool have been linked with both Celtic’s Martin O’Neill and the apparently Chelsea-bound José Mourinho, although Valencia’s Rafael Benitez has emerged as the firm favourite to continue Gerard Houllier’s work at Anfield. A deal is said to have been done but Benitez is seen as the ideal man to re-instill the value which brought such glory to Merseyside in the 1970s.
The situation at Chelsea remains confusing. Following the Champions League final, Mourinho openly admitted that he is heading for England. The press report that a deal is in place. The hapless Ranieri was summoned to Rome by Abramovich and Co. only to emerge intact, speaking about his plans for the West London club in summer. Watch this space!
Sacked Real Madrid coach, Carlos Queiroz, who has been replaced by Benfica’s José António Camacho, has been offered his old job back at Old Trafford, although Spurs are also keen. Bayern’s Ottmar Hitzfeld, now redundant, has been mooted as a possible Rudi Voller successor should Germany’s Euro 2004 campaign prove to be a disaster.
In Italy, Monaco’s Didier Deschamps looked certain to take over Juventus until Roma’s Fabio Capello accepted a three-year contract.
Finally, Chievo’s Luigi Del Neri will be taking over at Porto – unless someone else comes along!