SVEN-GORAN Eriksson has moved into pole position in the race to become Fulham’s new manager.
Gazette sport has learned the former England boss has gone down well with chairman Mohamed Al Fayed as a replacement for Roy Hodgson – and could be installed in time to see his new side play Brentford at Griffin Park in the first pre-season friendly on Wednesday night.
However, Fulham’s board are still pondering a shortlist that’s down to three this morning – one of whom is Alan Curbishley , even though he strangely distanced himself from the job in comments made on Wednesday.
On top of which, the former Charlton and West Ham manager does not have the same relationship with Fulham chief executive Alistair Mackintosh as Eriksson does.
Both were together at a revived Manchester City until first the Swede followed by Mackintosh, departed at the whim of then City owner Thaksin Shinawatra in the summer of 2008.
Fulham have already ruled out former Manchester City boss, Mark Hughes , Dave Jones at Cardiff, and former Whites playing legend Lee Clark , who is the 6/4 favourite on one set of odds, along with a string of big names that was 20-strong and rising at the last count.
But Eriksson comes with an international CV most of the rest can only dream of – and a list of contacts like Hodgson’s that brought bargains such as defender Brede Hangeland to Craven Cottage.
By pure coincidence, Fulham go on pre-season tour to Sweden following the game at Bournemouth on July 17 – and the Whites are particularly keen to have someone in place by then.
An insider said: “It’s getting pretty close to the end of the selection process.”