1-0 to Rodgers: New Liverpool boss refused to work under a sporting director
Ballsy Brendan stood firm against plans to parachute Louis van Gaal in over his head – and has recorded his first victory at the club!
Brendan Rodgers has agreed a three-year deal to become Liverpool’s new manager.
And, in a major boost to Rodgers, Louis van Gaal looks increasingly unlikely to be appointed over him as sporting director.
Rodgers, 39, agreed to become Liverpool boss on a £3million a year deal, after speaking to Reds officials, including chairman Tom Werner, on Wednesday.
The Ulsterman then travelled to south Wales to tell Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins that he wanted to quit the Liberty Stadium after two years to move to Anfield.
Liverpool will pay nearly £5m in compensation for the remaining three seasons of a contract Rodgers signed earlier this year.
Van Gaal pressed his claims to become manager when he spoke to Liverpool officials, but they feel that the 60-year-old Dutchman does not fit the profile they are looking for.
It means Rodgers will have more control at Anfield if the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach - a huge footballing figure with an ego to match - does not come in.
However, Liverpool's owners Fenway Sports Group are still committed to overhauling their management structure and reserve-team boss Pep Segura is expected to be promoted to a senior technical director role.
Some fans had wanted to see European Cup-winning boss Rafa Benitez return to Anfield after the sacking of Kenny Dalglish, but the majority have welcomed Rodgers’ appointment and are prepared to give him a chance.
FSG owner John W Henry believes Rodgers perfectly fits the profile he wanted of a young, rising manager.
The American is hugely impressed by the CV of Rodgers, who learned his trade under Jose Mourinho before cutting his managerial teeth with Watford and Reading.
Henry will back his new manager and provide him with a transfer kitty of up to £25m to finance a challenge for a Champions League place.
Rodgers has travelled extensively around Europe studying different coaching techniques, and speaks Spanish and Italian.
The Ulsterman is also committed to playing passing football, which is a major plus in his favour.
Part of the reason Kopites turned on Dalglish's predecessor Roy Hodgson was because they felt his tactics were too direct.
Henry has come under fire for casting his net so wide, but feels he will be vindicated by his decision to go for Rodgers.
After initially rebuffing Liverpool because he did not want to be part of a beauty contest, Rodgers was happy to speak to the Reds when he knew they were serious about appointing him.
There was no official word from Liverpool on Wednesday night.
They may wait until Friday - the day they parade their new Warrior Sports-made kit - to unveil Rodgers.