Clement to save Swansea from knee-deep trouble?

Swansea midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson (far left) and his team-mates are bottom of the English Premier League with 12 points from 19 games.
Swansea midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson (left) and his team-mates are bottom of the English Premier League with 12 points from 19 games.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • English Premier League strugglers Swansea City are set to appoint Bayern Munich assistant Paul Clement as their new manager, according to British media reports on Saturday.

The former Derby County boss has been in talks with Swansea to become the troubled Welsh club's third manager of a difficult season at the Liberty Stadium.

It is reported the deal could be finalised today, before Swansea, who head into this new year rock bottom of the Premier League, visit Crystal Palace tomorrow.

Clement will succeed Bob Bradley, who was sacked this week after a 85-day reign, the BBC and other reports said.

Former United States coach Bradley had previously replaced Italian Francesco Guidolin, who was sacked in October.

Clement emerged as the favourite to succeed Bradley after Swansea's top target Chris Coleman, the Wales manager, chose to close the door on making an emotional return to his hometown club.

The 44-year-old Englishman Clement was interviewed for the position when Bradley was appointed, and the Swansea hierarchy were impressed enough with Clement to return to him after sacking the American last Tuesday.

Clement has an excellent reputation as a coach having worked as Carlo Ancelotti's assistant at Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and now Bayern Munich.

But his only job in management at Derby lasted just eight months before he was surprisingly sacked in February last year.

Derby were fifth in the Championship at the time, having been top of the table on Boxing Day.

Club owner Mel Morris said he was unhappy with the team's style of play and sacked Clement after the Rams had gone seven games without a win.

Clement's managerial skills will certainly be tested in south Wales as Swansea face a huge task to avoid relegation.

Bournemouth's 3-0 win at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday leaves the Swans bottom with 12 points at the halfway stage of the campaign.

Interim boss Alan Curtis said that the club need to appoint a new manager soon to help their struggle against relegation.

"I think we need to sort something out as quickly as we possibly can," he told Sky Sports News. "I still think there should be enough in our squad to get better results, but confidence in sport, especially football, is such a fragile thing. When we concede, you seem to see the confidence drain out of the players."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 02, 2017, with the headline 'Clement to save Swansea from knee-deep trouble?'. Print Edition | Subscribe