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Friday, 17 October, 2003, 14:56 GMT 15:56 UK
Sven and Ulrika keep quiet
Ulrika Jonsson and Sven Goran Eriksson
Ulrika and Sven are said to have 'a future together'
England football coach Sven Goran Eriksson and fellow Swede Ulrika Jonsson have remained tight-lipped on press reports that they are having a relationship.

Sunday's front pages are dominated by the story - but none has managed to produce a confirmation or denial from either party.

Watch Breakfast's interview with News of the World feature's editor, Gary Thompson, by clicking the video icon at the top right of this page.

There was no sign of life at Eriksson's home near London's Regent's Park, after the coach and his girlfriend Nancy Dell'Olio returned in the early hours from a late night meal in London.

However the mother of TV star Jonsson told a Swedish newspaper she believes her daughter and Eriksson "have a future together".

Gun Brodie said: "They have been very happy together, they have enjoyed each other's company very much."

Ulrika Jonsson
Ulrika chats to a friend at the Chelsea vs Manchester United game
But on Saturday Eriksson's girlfriend of three years, Dell'Olio dismissed reports of a blossoming romance between the England football coach and Jonsson as "rubbish".

Both Eriksson and Jonsson refused to talk to reporters before travelling to Stamford Bridge to watch Chelsea vs Manchester United - from separate parts of the ground.

Publicist Max Clifford said the story had "all the ingredients" of a great story.

He added: "It will create even more interest in the World Cup because now, whenever England are playing, the public will be looking to see if Ulrika is in the crowd anywhere close to Sven."

'The boy is over 50'

In an interview with the newspaper Expressen Ms Brodie said: "I know that they have met. Ulrika has talked a bit about Sven Goran, I haven't met him myself."

Speaking from Mallorca, Spain, she added: "I would be happy if they made it work."

Eriksson's mother, Ulla Eriksson, was considerably less forthcoming about the friendship.

She said: "The boy is over 50 years. You can teach children to walk but you can't tell them what road to take."

'I'm with my man'

Speaking from the central London home she shares with Eriksson, Nancy Dell'Olio said they were still very much together and concentrating on "the facts" of their relationship.

After Eriksson returned home from the Premiership match, Ms Dell'Olio told reporters she had no interest in Jonsson's presence at Stamford Bridge, adding: "I'm with my man, leave us alone."

Through an intercom Ms Dell'Olio, 37, said: "We're still together and we're talking together.

"What the papers are saying is rubbish. It's the facts we're talking about."


Speculation about the nature of the Swedish duo's friendship intensified when Jonsson's agent, Melanie Cantor, refused to deny reports linking them.

Paul Newman, head of communications for the Football Association, also failed to quell the rumours when he said: "This is entirely a private matter."

On Saturday morning the 53-year-old England coach said nothing as he was picked up by a chauffeur-driven Mercedes for the trip to the Chelsea ground.

I said to her, 'Here's another Swede for you to talk to'

Alastair Campbell

Leaving her home in Cookham Dean, Berkshire, for the game Jonsson, 34, took a similar line with gathered reporters.

She said: "I'm going out for the day. I would appreciate it if you would leave my family alone."

Jonsson, wearing sunglasses, sat next to TV personality Angus Deayton for the football match.

She has previously been linked to James Crossley - alias Hunter from the TV show Gladiator - and footballer Stan Collymore, but has been single since breaking up with public relations boss Simon Astaire, 40, last year.

The BBC's Bob Sinkinson
"This story has fascinated the Swedish press too"
Gary Thompson
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