BRENDAN RODGERS SET FOR LIVERPOOL
Brendan Rodgers will be confirmed as the new Liverpool manager just as soon as the club's owners Fenway Sports Group agree on a compensation package with Swansea.
The 39-year-old was offered the job, believed to be on a three-year contract, after talks with FSG on Wednesday afternoon and he returned to south Wales to tell chairman Huw Jenkins he wanted to take up their offer.
It is anticipated Liverpool will have to pay between £4million and £5million as Rodgers only signed a new three-and-a-half-year contract in February.
A resolution is expected to be found within the next 24 hours with the Northern Irishman likely to be presented as successor to Kenny Dalglish on Friday.
"I was contacted by Liverpool last night and they expressed their wish to speak to Brendan regarding their vacancy," said Jenkins in a statement on Swansea's official website on Wednesday night
"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 are trying to finalise that within the next 24 hours."
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 in the last couple of days.
He had initially rejected their advances 12 days 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.
Despite Rodgers' recently-signed contract Jenkins insisted they would not block a move to one of Europe's most decorated clubs.
"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 see 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 attended the Premier League's chairmen's meeting tomorrow, have to decide whether that structure can still work.
Rodgers has won many plaudits for the way Swansea played on their return to the top flight this season and while his initial link to Liverpool left fans unimpressed they appeared to have warmed to the idea in the last couple of days.
Former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler believes Rodgers deserves his chance but has warned next season may be another testing one for the Anfield faithful.
"For what Brendan Rodgers has achieved at Swansea, he deserves huge respect," Fowler told paddypower.com.
"He's worked under Jose Mourinho at Chelsea so he knows the score and he's worked with top players.
"It'd be a massive step up for Rodgers to manage Liverpool, if he gets the job, as expected now.
"The new manager will need to bring in new players again to take Liverpool from a top-eight club to a top-four club.
"That's going to be really difficult. It's a massive challenge.
"Because the top four are going to bring in new players too and that gulf increases again.
"I have to say it, right now the 2012-13 season looks like it's going to be another difficult one for Liverpool fans."
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.
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