x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Liverpool's owners want attacking football and Champions League qualification

New manager will have £30 million (Dh174m) to spend in the summer, with Roberto Martinez just one of a lengthy list of candidates.

Liverpool owner John W Henry, centre top, fired Kenny Dalglish, centre bottom, after the club's poor league results. Nick Potts / PA
Liverpool owner John W Henry, centre top, fired Kenny Dalglish, centre bottom, after the club's poor league results. Nick Potts / PA

Liverpool are seeking a younger coach capable of restoring the club first to Champions League football then direct competition for the Premier League title while delivering high-quality, attack-minded football.

The club's American owners have drawn up a long list of candidates to succeed Kenny Dalglish as manager and plan to interview as many as practical before making what will effectively be their first long-term appointment to the position.

Though the Fenway Sports Group consortium has gathered extensive information on the strengths and weaknesses of candidates, face-to-face interviews will be fundamental to the appointment.

John W Henry, FSG's principal owner, is leading the process and is due to meet Roberto Martinez in the United States this week.

According to well-placed sources, the Wigan Athletic manager should not be considered FSG's preferred prospect simply because he is first to be interviewed.

Andre Villas-Boas, who Henry and his associates were interested in before his unsuccessful tenure at Chelsea, is also due to be interviewed but will have to convince them his man management problems at Stamford Bridge will not be repeated.

Swansea City's announcement that Brendan Rodgers had declined the offer of an interview followed preliminary discussions about high-profile Dalglish signings he would want moved out of Liverpool, according to a friend of the Northern Irishman.

Borussia Dortmund's double winning coach Jurgen Klopp rejected an approach from FSG, as has Frank de Boer after leading Ajax Amsterdam to back-to-back Dutch titles. Although Fabio Capello wants a new coaching position in England after leaving the national team job by mutual consent, the Italian is far from the profile sought by FSG.

Fresh from turning around Chelsea's self-destructive season in the space of 11 weeks to bring the club a Champions League and FA Cup double, his compatriot Roberto Di Matteo is an obvious fit.

The new manager will be expected to work alongside a new director of football and a senior scout in a system similar to the one in which Manchester City spread recruitment decisions between Roberto Mancini, the football administrator Brian Marwood and the technical director Mike Rigg before the latter left for QPR.

A summer transfer budget of between £20-£30 million (Dh116-174m) is to be directed towards players in their early 20s or younger.

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