Football: Coleman favourite for Swansea job

LONDON • Chris Coleman is fast emerging as the leading contender to take over at Swansea as the English Premier League football club's board steps up its pursuit of a third manager of the season.

Ryan Giggs and Gary Rowett are among the names also under consideration, with Swansea keen to weigh up all available options, but Coleman ticks a number of boxes and could soon find himself at the centre of a club versus country tug-of-war for his services.

Swansea hope to have a new man in place by Monday after Bob Bradley was dismissed after only 11 games on Tuesday, with the club four points from safety and one spot off the bottom of the Premier League.

They have placed Alan Curtis, the first-team coach, and Paul Williams, the assistant manager, in charge of the team for Bournemouth's visit tomorrow but hope to name Bradley's replacement in time for Tuesday's game at Crystal Palace.

At this stage, Coleman, the Wales manager, is the clear frontrunner.

He had managed in the Premier League previously with Fulham.

Swansea is also his hometown club, which means the 46-year-old would be a popular choice with the supporters, and his reputation in the game is high on the back of leading Wales to the European Championship semi-finals in the summer.

The situation with Coleman, however, is far from straightforward.

The Football Association of Wales (FAW) refused to grant him permission to speak to Hull City in the summer and would not want to lose him halfway through the team's qualification campaign for the 2018 World Cup.

Although Coleman stressed in September that he had unfinished business with Wales, his contract expires at the end of the qualification campaign. He also admitted he wanted to manage in the Premier League once more.

He did not feel strongly enough about pursuing Hull's interest to rock the boat with the FAW, yet it is unclear whether he would take the same view if Swansea came calling.

Giggs, Coleman's former Wales team-mate, is also a likely candidate. Huw Jenkins, the Swansea chairman, is a strong admirer of the former Manchester United player, who missed out on the Swansea job when Bradley was appointed.

Rowett fits the old Swansea prototype of a young, ambitious manager seen as having a promising future. But he has no Premier League experience and it would be a leap of faith to ask him to Swansea's fortunes around.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 30, 2016, with the headline 'Coleman favourite for Swansea job'. Print Edition | Subscribe