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Page last updated at 14:00 GMT, Friday, 9 May 2008 15:00 UK

Eriksson remains coy over future

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Eriksson was in relaxed mood at a good-natured news conference

Sven-Goran Eriksson has admitted it is possible that he will leave Manchester City at the end of the season.

He said a decision on his future will be made early next week, but refused to confirm or deny reports linking him with a move to Benfica.

When asked if Sunday's game with Middlesbrough would be his last as City manager, he said: "As the situation is today, it's a possibility.

"That's not a secret for anyone but we'll see."

He added: "I know about the speculation but that's speculation. The facts we will probably know next week."

City finished 14th last season, six points off relegation, but since his arrival in the summer Eriksson has guided them to the top half of the table.

It's not realistic to think we could qualify for the Champions League. We are good but not that good.

Sven-Goran Eriksson
A great start to this season raised expectations and the Swede is happy with his side's position, but admitted he did not think owner Thaksin Shinawatra shared his feelings.

"We came in, bought a lot of new players," he said.

"I know we haven't played brilliant football for 37 games but we played very well many times.

"It's a new team, a young team and we're on the right side of the table. We could finish eighth.

"It's not realistic to think we could qualify for the Champions League. We are good but not that good.

"That's a fact and anyone who knows a little bit about football knows that. You can always dream but over 38 games, if you read the table today, that's reality."

On Wednesday, Shinawatra claimed he would not make a decision on the Swede's future until the end of the season.

Thaksin Shinawatra will wait until the end of the season to make a decision

However, a source close to Eriksson has told BBC Sport the Swede has been informed he is no longer required at Eastlands.

Shinawatra did say he had told Eriksson he was unhappy with City's mid-season dip in form which saw them fall out of contention for European football.

"During the season, we may complain for improvement but that's normal for every club," Shinawatra said.

"But we will discuss at the end of the season what needs to be changed, what needs to be added to the success of the club."

Eriksson held talks with Portuguese club Benfica about returning there for a third spell as coach.

A statement from Benfica confirmed Eriksson met with the club's president Luis Felipe Vieira and their new director of football, Rui Costa, in Manchester on Wednesday.

606: DEBATE
Eriksson has coached Benfica twice, leading them to two championships and a domestic cup in the early 1980s.

He then went to Italy but returned to Benfica in 1989, taking the club to the 1990 European Cup final, a game they lost to AC Milan, before winning the Portuguese title in 1991.

Portugal boss Luiz Felipe Scolari was tipped to take over at Eastlands, but it is reported the Brazilian has now distanced himself from the position.

Scolari and former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho have been linked with the job at City but Thaksin would not be drawn on who might be in charge next season, only saying: "They all - Sven, Scolari, Mourinho - they are great coaches, great managers."




see also
Middlesbrough v Man City
08 May 08 |  Premier League
Typical City
10 May 08 |  Sport Homepage
Scolari to leave after Euro bid
26 Dec 06 |  Internationals
Reid warns Thaksin over Eriksson
01 May 08 |  Football
Sven's signings - hits or misses?
29 Apr 08 |  Man City
The end of Eriksson's era
29 Apr 08 |  Man City
Eriksson to be sacked by Man City
29 Apr 08 |  Man City


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