Monday 11 December 2017

Francesco Guidolin set to be named as Swansea's new head coach as pressure mounts

Francesco Guidolin
Francesco Guidolin

Francesco Guidolin is set to be named as the new Swansea head coach before Monday night's Barclays Premier League clash with Watford, Press Association Sport understands.

The former Udinese boss will work alongside Alan Curtis, who had been named as the permanent successor to the sacked Garry Monk as recently as last week.

Swansea's slide into the bottom three has prompted a swift U-turn by club bosses, who will hand Guidolin a short-term contract with a view to an extension if the appointment is successful.

Guidolin is expected to take a watching brief at the match on Monday before taking an official role for the first time in next Sunday's Premier League trip to Everton.

Swansea will become the 14th different club in Guidolin's managerial career, which peaked during a recent spell at Udinese, who he twice led into the Champions League.

The 60-year-old started out in charge of minor club Giorgione, and has also had spells at Atalanta, Bologna, Genoa and Palermo.

Guidolin's only experience of managing outside Italy came in 2005, when he had a short spell in charge of Monaco.

Since leaving Udinese last year, Guidolin worked as a technical adviser to the Pozzo family, which has a controlling stake in Udinese, Granada and Watford.

Earlier, Curtis had appeared to intimate that his short spell in sole charge of the club could be drawing to a close.

Since being confirmed as head coach on January 7, Curtis has led his side to just one win in six games despite broadly improved performances.

And Newcastle's 2-1 win over West Ham on Saturday sent the Swans back into the bottom three ahead of Watford's visit.

Curtis said: "I'd expect to be here until the end of the season, but if results go against us and the club deem it that they need to bring someone in at short notice, then so be it.

"I've got no sort of vanity (that I must) be here until the end of the season.

"We've worked hard to get into the Premier League.

"It's important we stay here, not just for next season but for seasons to come as well."

Guidolin's appointment will at least bring an end to a period of frustration after the club's failure to appoint a series of big names following Monk's departure.

Marcelo Bielsa, Dennis Bergkamp and Brendan Rogers were among those linked with the club prior to Curtis' appointment, which was seen in many quarters as a stop-gap measure.

Guidolin's first task will be to convince the club hierarchy not to accept expected transfer window offers for star names including Andre Ayew and Bafetimbi Gomis.

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