Swans pin their hopes on managerial bounce

De Boer, Karanka on the shortlist to take over reins at Welsh club

LONDON • Swansea hope to appoint a new manager before their visit to Liverpool on Tuesday, with Frank de Boer the bookmakers' favourite to succeed Paul Clement.

The club have also spoken to former Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka and will assess their options over the next few days.

Swansea - two points adrift at the bottom of the Premier League - are unwilling to pay a high contract release fee and want to make a quick appointment, so they are likely to be limited to managers who are out of work.

A relegation battle and a small transfer budget are unlikely to tempt Louis van Gaal or Ronald Koeman. The Swans will be hoping for a similar upturn in fortunes with the likes of Everton, Crystal Palace and West Ham all benefiting from managerial changes.

Swansea confirmed on Thursday that Leon Britton would be their caretaker player-manager for the home match against Palace today.

The 35-year-old, promoted to assistant manager by Clement last month after the departure of Claude Makelele, has already indicated that he does not want to be considered for the permanent job.

  • £30m 

    S$53.9 million profit Swansea made in the summer transfer window, including the sale of key players like Gylfi Sigurdsson and Fernando Llorente.

But his first task will be to prevent Swansea from losing their third straight game after reverses against Manchester City and the Toffees.

Striker Wilfried Bony is out of the next two matches against Palace and Liverpool, and a doubt for the team's trip to Watford on Dec 30 with a hamstring injury.

Ki Sung Yueng could return after recovering from a calf problem while fellow midfielder Leroy Fer is being monitored after suffering a back injury against Everton.

Christian Benteke is suspended for Palace and manager Roy Hodgson could give Bakary Sako his first start since October.

Captain Jason Puncheon is available despite being charged with assault and being in possession of an offensive weapon after an incident following a night out last Saturday.

Clement said in a statement on Thursday that he was sad to be leaving Swansea, but he is believed to feel he was undermined by the club's summer transfer dealings.

The club made a profit of almost £30 million (S$53.9 million) on player trading, while key personnel such as Gylfi Sigurdsson and Fernando Llorente were not adequately replaced.

Swansea feel that Clement made mistakes, however, particularly by insisting on bringing in Renato Sanches, who has been a disappointing loan signing from Bayern Munich and using up a significant part of the club's wage bill.

Clement said keeping Swansea in the league last term " was by far my proudest and greatest achievement as a coach".

"However, this season, in very challenging circumstances, I was unable to replicate the positive results," the former assistant manager at Real Madrid and Bayern Munich said in a League Managers Association statement.

THE TIMES, LONDON, REUTERS


SWANSEA V CRYSTAL PALACE

Singtel TV Ch107 & StarHub Ch232, 10.50pm

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 23, 2017, with the headline 'Swans pin their hopes on managerial bounce'. Print Edition | Subscribe