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Guus Hiddink unlikely to join Liverpool as manager

Rafael Benitez

Report - Benitez's reign ends

By Nabil Hassan

New Turkey boss Guus Hiddink is unlikely to become Liverpool's next manager, according to the Dutchman's agent, Cees van Nieuwenhuizen.

Liverpool are searching for a new boss after Rafael Benitez's exit on Thursday with former boss Kenny Dalglish charged with finding his replacement.

"Guus has shown over the years that he is loyal to agreements that he signed," van Nieuwenhuizen told BBC Sport.

"There is no reason today why he would change such behaviour."

Benitez left Anfield by mutual consent on Thursday after six years in charge, paying the price for a season that saw the club make an early exit from the Champions League and finish seventh in the Premier League.

Dalglish, along with managing director Christian Purslow, has drawn up a shortlist of names to replace the Spaniard.

It is reported that Fulham manager Roy Hodgson and Bayern Munich boss Louis van Gaal are among the front runners, but Hiddink, Aston Villa's Martin O'Neill, former Manchester City chief Mark Hughes, Croatia's Slaven Bilic and Galatasary's Frank Rijkaard have also been touted as potential successors to Benitez.

However, Hiddink has only just joined Turkey as their national coach having left his post as manager or Russia.

And according to his agent, the 63-year-old former Chelsea manager has also turned down an offer to replace Jose Mourinho as manager of European champions Inter Milan.

Guus Hiddink
Hiddink recently agreed to take over as Turkey manager

"Guus just started two weeks ago in Turkey and as much as he likes the Premier League and as much as he respects Liverpool as a legendary club with a great future ahead, a switch would be hardly doable," added van Nieuwenhuizen.

"Two weeks ago for the same reason he refused the position at Inter Milan post Jose Mourinho.

"I know, never say never and especially in football this is true, but for me this is an impossible thought."

Dalglish, who won three league titles as manager of Liverpool, has himself been backed to take over the Anfield reins by several former players including keeper Bruce Grobbelaar and midfielder Jamie Redknapp.

Hughes, 46, would provide Liverpool with an attractive, compensation-free alternative, with the former Wales boss a free agent following his departure from Manchester City in December 2009.

Benitez is reported to have received a multi-million pound severance deal to leave Anfield and with Liverpool £351m in debt the club will be hoping to avoid paying out more money in compensation.

A source close to Hughes declined to comment on speculation linking him to the post, but one man ruling himself in is former England and Manchester City manager Sven-Goran Eriksson.

The 62-year-old Swede, who is currently in charge of the Ivory Coast at the World Cup, said: "I have been a Liverpool fan all of my life.

"I never mentioned it when I was in charge of England because I didn't think it was fair. It is every manager's dream to manage Liverpool."

Eriksson has told how he used to watch Liverpool games on television at home in Sweden and how he also visited Anfield when he was learning his way as a coach.

"My father was also a Liverpool supporter and every Saturday we would watch an English match on television. It was the highlight of the week.


"Liverpool matches were televised quite regularly and we would cheer them on. They have always been my team and nothing has changed."

Former West Ham defender Bilic has two years left on his contract as national boss of Croatia, but has openly talked of his desire to one day manage in England.

The 41-year-old's brother and agent, Domagoj, told BBC Sport: "It is true that one day Slaven would like to manage in the Premier League and there are not many clubs bigger than Liverpool.

"It is always an honour to be linked to a big club but at this moment in time to discuss Slaven joining Liverpool is frivolous.

"An offer has not come - not yet anyway - so we will not discuss it. But if any offer does come we will of course discuss it."

Former Holland and Barcelona manager Rijkaard is another who is believed be on Liverpool's shortlist but his agent, Perry Overmeers, has moved to distance his client from the speculation.

"Rumours linking Frank to Liverpool are just that, rumours," Overmeers told BBC Sport. "Frank is the type of person who likes to fulfil his obligations and he has one year left on his contract with Galatasaray.

"There has been no contact from Liverpool."

And according to reports in Spain, sources close to former Real Madrid coach Manuel Pellegrini suggest the Chilean would be interested in becoming Liverpool's new boss.

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see also
Hodgson named new Liverpool boss
01 Jul 10 |  Liverpool
Redknapp - Dalglish would be a success
03 Jun 10 |  Liverpool
Benitez reign at Liverpool ends
03 Jun 10 |  Liverpool
O'Neill to stay as Villa manager
12 May 10 |  Aston Villa
Hodgson voted manager of the year
10 May 10 |  Fulham

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