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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 November 2007, 13:34 GMT
Lippi turns down Birmingham job
Italy coach Marcello Lippi wins the World Cup in 2006
Lippi quit as Italy coach after winning the World Cup
Italy's 2006 World Cup-winning coach Marcello Lippi has turned down an offer to become Birmingham's new manager.

City wanted Lippi, 58, to succeed Steve Bruce, who has left St Andrews to take up the managerial reins at Wigan.

"We made an approach and he turned it down," Blues co-owner David Sullivan told the Birmingham Mail.

"This is not a stunt, it's genuine - he is available and we are looking at bringing in a manager of his stature and calibre, if at all possible."

Lippi guided Juventus to five Serie A titles in Italy and four Champions League finals, winning one in 1996, during two spells as manager.

We are determined to find a manager who would create a bit of a stir and excite people

Blues co-owner David Sullivan

In between, he endured an unsuccessful season as coach of Inter Milan.

Lippi, who has never coached outside Italy, became national coach in 2004 and took his team to World Cup glory in Germany, beating France 5-3 in a penalty shoot-out after the final ended 1-1.

But he did not renew his contract with the Italian Football Federation after the tournament, deciding instead to take a sabbatical.

"He was one of the first we went to but unfortunately nothing materialised," said Sullivan.

606: DEBATE

"Of course, you get knock-backs. That's football. But if you do not try you will never know.

"It was the same with (former Tottenham manager) Martin Jol. It made sense for us to approach him.

"I want to stress to our supporters that we are working very, very hard to bring in the right man.

"Until you get to meet them and speak to them, you can never be quite sure, but it won't be for a lack of trying, believe me.

"We are determined to find a manager who would create a bit of a stir and excite people."

Sullivan wants to make an appointment as soon as possible, while Bruce's former assistant Eric Black will be caretaker manager for the game against Portsmouth on Saturday.

"We will resolve the issue of a new manager within 10 days," added Sullivan.

"Eric has taken temporary charge, and that might only be for one game.

"Has he got a chance of becoming manager? Yes, he has. We will just have to wait and see what develops."



SEE ALSO
Jol rejects Birmingham approach
20 Nov 07 |  Birmingham City
Bruce leaves Birmingham for Wigan
20 Nov 07 |  Wigan Athletic


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