Belfast Telegraph

Liverpool to confirm Brendan Rodgers as new manager

By Carl Markham

Liverpool's two-week search for a new manager is likely to be concluded later today once owners Fenway Sports Group come up with acceptable compensation to take Brendan Rodgers from Swansea.

The Carnlough man was offered the job yesterday and his south Wales club have reluctantly allowed him to leave even though he only signed a new three-and-a-half-year deal in February.

However, the safety net of that contract means Swansea are likely to receive a pay-off of between £4million-£5million once terms are agreed in the next few hours.

Rodgers (39) is expected to sign a three-year contract and be presented as the successor to Kenny Dalglish on Friday.

Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins admitted he could not stand in the Northern Irishman's way, although he will insist on driving a hard financial bargain with the Reds.

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

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

"We are trying to finalise that within the next 24 hours."

Swansea were contacted by Liverpool on Tuesday night and Rodgers expressed his wish to speak to the Merseysiders. Having done so, he told Jenkins he wished to take up their offer.

Rodgers moved ahead of Wigan manager Roberto Martinez, who held talks with Reds' principal owner John Henry in Miami last week, in the pecking order earlier this week.

He had initially rejected their advances two weeks ago as he did not want to become involved in a wide-ranging selection process to canvass the best available talent.

However, when it became clear FSG had narrowed down their options to two he relented and discussions were conducted swiftly.

"Although we are very disappointed to lose such a talented, young British manager, we didn't wish to stand in his way," added the Swans chairman.

"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."

It remains to be seen exactly what system Rodgers will work under at Anfield as FSG were keen to split the workload of former director of football Damien Comolli, who was sacked in April.

Dutchman Louis van Gaal emerged as the leading candidate to take a sporting director role but it is known both Martinez and Rodgers had expressed a desire to have greater control of footballing affairs.

With their manager almost in place Henry and chairman Tom Werner, who will attend the Premier League's chairmen's meeting today, have to decide whether that structure can still work.

BRENDAN RODGERS FACTFILE

1973: Born January 26 in Carnlough, Northern Ireland

1987: Begins his career as a youngster with Ballymena United and makes 12 appearances over a three-year period, also attracts the interest of Manchester United but is not signed up by the Old Trafford club.

1990: Is signed by Reading at the age of 18. Plays for the Royals' reserves but is forced to retire due to injury at the age of 20.

2004: After working as Reading's academy director Rodgers is offered the chance to coach the Chelsea youth team after being headhunted by Jose Mourinho.

2006: Is promoted to become reserve team manager at Stamford Bridge.

2008: November 24 - Is handed his first senior managerial role as he is named as Watford manager. The Hornets were in the Championship relegation zone in January but Rodgers guides them to safety and an eventual 13th place finish.

2009: June 5 - His impressive work at Vicarage Road sees him handed the reins at former club Reading.

December 16 - After a string of disappointing results Rodgers leaves the Madejski Stadium club by mutual consent.

2010: July 16 - After nearly seven months out of the game, during which he later revealed he failed to get an interview for a League Two position he had applied for, Rodgers is appointed Swansea manager following Paolo Sousa's departure to Leicester.

2011: May 30 - Guides Swansea to play-off glory at Wembley. Scott Sinclair, a former protege of Rodgers' at Chelsea, grabs a hat-trick in a 4-2 win over Reading at Wembley as the Swans become the first Welsh club to reach the Premier League.

2012: Named Premier League Manager of the Month for January after wins over Aston Villa and Arsenal and a draw with Chelsea.

February - Signs a new three-and-a-half year deal at the Liberty Stadium. Insists his focus is on Swansea after being linked with Tottenham and Chelsea.

May 13 - Swansea finish 11th in the Premier League after beating Liverpool 1-0 at home, the result proves to be Kenny Dalglish's last game in charge of the Reds.

May 18 - Rodgers turns down an approach from Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group to discuss the managerial vacancy at Anfield.

May 29 - Rodgers holds talks with Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins after returning from holiday in New York amid growing speculation that Liverpool are to renew their interest in the Northern Irishman. Swansea insist the meeting is routine.

May 30 - Jenkins confirms Rodgers has told him he wants to take up an offer to manage Liverpool, with the clubs discussing compensation.

RODGERS - FIVE OF THE BEST

We look at five Swansea performances that would have caught the eye of the Liverpool owners.

Swansea 3 Arsenal 2, Liberty Stadium, January 15 2012

This was the game that made the Premier League sit up and take notice of Swansea as they outpassed and outthought Arsenal. Robin van Persie fired the Gunners ahead but a Scott Sinclair penalty and a Nathan Dyer effort put the hosts in front. Theo Walcott levelled but Danny Graham struck the winner a minute later.

Swansea 1 Manchester City 0, Liberty Stadium, March 11 2012

Manchester City's on and off field resources may have dwarfed those of Swansea but it did not prevent the Welsh club putting a dent in their title tilt. Sinclair saw an early penalty saved by Joe Hart but substitute Luke Moore struck seven minutes from time.

Swansea 1 Liverpool 0, Liberty Stadium, May 13 2012

With survival long secured Swansea finished their maiden Premier League season with a flourish. The hosts dominated the opening half against the Reds and claimed the win when Danny Graham swept home four minutes from time. The game was Kenny Dalglish's last in charge of the Reds and paved the way for Rodgers' move to Anfield.

Aston Villa 0 Swansea 2, Villa Park, January 2 2012

Swansea headed to the Midlands without an away win in the Premier League but an excellent performance from winger Nathan Dyer gave them all three points at Villa Park. Dyer fired the Swans into a fourth-minute lead and Wayne Routledge's strike two minutes after the interval sealed the victory.

Fulham 0 Swansea 3, Craven Cottage, March 17 2012

Swansea were riding the crest of a wave just a week after their win over Manchester City and they put Fulham to the sword in emphatic fashion. Loan signing Gylfi Sigurdsson produced two fine finishes before Joe Allen completed the scoring in the closing stages.

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