Manchester City will decide on Sven-Goran Eriksson's future within three weeks, an adviser to club owner Thaksin Shinawatra has said.
Pairoj Piempongsant, a Thai businessman who helps City recruit players, said the club was still chasing Barcelona's Ronaldinho and would make a decision on both soon. "The negotiations must be complete by June 15, which include the team manager," he said.
In some respects it was almost a blessing to actually get some news given the way the sage that plagued the end of season has managed to drag on as we head into June and almost into the Euro 2008 tournament.
Although still effctively in charge at the club, it is surely inconceivable that Sven will be around for next season and reports continue to link him elsewhere, with agent Athole Still not short of a word or two for the press.
The difficulty is who will be replacing him? It may be that Thaksin has dropped the ball as far as Scolari is concerned and may now be scrambling around for another suitable candidate (of which there are not an abundance of) but the danger of course is unless it is resolved on way or the other soon enough, then pre-season will shortly be upon us.With our qualification to the UEFA Cup, pre-season will have to be dragged forward given the first qualifying round is scheduled to be played July 17th - which may of course involve a trip along the M62 for our 'home' leg.
The date of July 17th must surely be too early to believe any of our Euor 2008 participants or playes involved in World Cup qualifiers will be involved given their summer exertions, leading to very much a fringeand young looking squad taking the field - not a prospect that should be relished too heartily given the way we fared on our end of season trip, despite us being announced as one of the top seeds.
We also have the issue of potential new recruits to the club, and of course the rumour mill is churning 'targets' out at a furious rate. Can we be actively looking for new players given our managerial limbo?
If so, it begs the question who is actively behind this? Thaksin? His 'advisors'? The shadowy Pini Zihavi? There has also been speculation as to exactly what cash we do have, and it is a figure that could be reduced given Lazio's apparant reluctance to meet the initial valuation of Rolando Bianchi.
Whilst it has been nice to break away from the shambles that is occurring at the moment, it is surely of concern that nothing has been announced thus far and one hopes that June 15th is at latest the date where we can at least draw some closure and move on as this will only give the new manager (and players) a month to familiarise with one another and put together a coherent and cohesive unit.
Sven proved last year it can be done but the situation this time round is far, far different.