Giggs favourite to replace Bradley at Swansea
Ryan Giggs is the early favourite to replace Bob Bradley as Swansea City manager, after the American was sacked following just 11 games in charge and a disastrous run of results.
Bradley's troubled reign at the Welsh club officially ended after 85 days following talks with the Swansea board yesterday evening, with Chris Coleman, Gary Rowett and Giggs emerging as potential replacements.
Frank de Boer, sacked last month by Inter Milan, is understood to have been approached already, but he rejected the chance to take charge at the Liberty Stadium.
Swansea's new owners, Steve Kaplan and Jason Levien, were reluctant to dismiss Bradley, who was only appointed in October, but have made the decision after the alarming 4-1 home defeat by West Ham United on St Stephen's Day.
That left Bradley with seven defeats from 11 matches and the nature of the performances, plus the 29 goals conceded under the American's tenure, triggered deep concern within the Liberty Stadium boardroom.
And following extensive talks yesterday morning and afternoon, the decision was taken to make the 58-year-old the second managerial departure at the club this season.
He took training at the club's Fairwood base before being called in to be told the news.
Bradley said last night: "I knew exactly what I was getting into when I came to Swansea and realised the hardest part was always going to be getting points in the short run.
“But I believe in myself and I believe in going for it. That’s what I’ve always told my players. Football can be cruel and to have a chance, you have to be strong. I wish Swansea the best and look forward to my next challenge.”
First-team coaches Alan Curtis and Paul Williams will take charge for the home game against Bournemouth on Saturday, with no replacement immediately lined up.
Huw Jenkins, the Swansea chairman, said: “We are sorry to lose Bob after such a short period of time. Unfortunately things haven’t worked out as planned and we felt we had to make the change with half the Premier League season remaining. Personally, I have nothing but praise for Bob. He is a good man who gave everything to the job.”
Swansea must now focus on appointing a third manager in barely a year. Coleman, the Wales manager, is certain to be a leading contender and has been considered in the past.
Gary Rowett, controversially dismissed by Birmingham earlier this month, also has support and is one of the most highly rated British coaches in the game.
Giggs, the former Wales and Manchester United attacker, was interviewed twice by Swansea before Bradley was appointed and is still a candidate, while Paul Clement, now Carlo Ancelotti’s No 2 at Bayern Munich, was also spoken to. Alan Pardew, who was sacked by Crystal Palace last week, cannot be ruled out either.
Bradley, however, is likely to be seen as one of the worst appointments in recent history.
Kaplan and Levien were reluctant to take such drastic action, and were even prepared to back Bradley with significant funds in the January transfer window, but they were left with no alternative with Swansea already three points adrift of safety. Swansea supporters have targeted Bradley and the board during recent home games and the vitriol from the stands during the defeat by West Ham forced a dramatic change in strategy. (© Daily Telegraph, London)