Thu, May 08, 2008 - Page 18 News List

Eriksson to lead Asian tour: report

AFP , BANGKOK

Manchester City manager Sven-Goran Eriksson will be in charge for his team’s tour of Asia this month, a report said yesterday as speculation mounts that Luiz Felipe Scolari will be his successor.

Club owner Thaksin Shinawatra is in Thailand and was asked about Eriksson yesterday, but only smiled in response as he prepared to board a plane for China to play golf.

However, City spokesman Paul Tyrell was quoted in the Bangkok Post as saying the Swede would be on the tour that includes matches in Thailand next Saturday and Hong Kong on May 22.

“The media speculation [about Eriksson’s fate] does not affect the visit. Mr. Eriksson will be attending,” Tyrell said.

Asked if Eriksson would remain at the club, Tyrell said no official announcement had been made and that Thaksin would conduct a full review at the end of the season.

The English Premier League club play their final game of the current campaign against Middlesbrough this weekend.

Former Thai premier Thaksin is widely expected to fire Eriksson even though he will deliver on the target of a top-half finish during his first season in charge at Eastlands.

Thaksin’s lack of support for the former England manager has angered many City fans who almost unanimously came out in support of the Swede in the 1-0 defeat at Liverpool at the weekend.

But his days appear numbered with English newspapers reporting yesterday that City have offered Portugal coach Scolari a package worth £3.2 million (US$6.3 million) a year to succeed Eriksson.

The Times of London reported that Thaksin has demanded an answer from Scolari before the Brazilian leads Portugal into the European Championship finals next month.

It said Scolari was understood to be interested, but would prefer to wait until after the finals in Austria and Switzerland before making a decision on his future.

City arrive in Thailand next week to open a club store before playing against the Thailand Premier All-Stars next Saturday.

The team will then relax in the resort of Pattaya before leaving on May 20 for matches in Hong Kong against a South China XI and Italian giants Juventus.

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