Rodgers says it was unfeasible to turn down offer

LIVERPOOL - Brendan Rodgers has admitted the chance to manage a footballing ‘dynasty’ like Liverpool was too good to turn down.
Brendan Rodgers (R) replaces Kenny Dalglish (L) as Liverpool boss. Net photo.
Brendan Rodgers (R) replaces Kenny Dalglish (L) as Liverpool boss. Net photo.

LIVERPOOL - Brendan Rodgers has admitted the chance to manage a footballing ‘dynasty’ like Liverpool was too good to turn down.

The Northern Irishman was officially presented as new Reds boss on Friday after a compensation package was agreed with Swansea.

But Swans chairman Huw Jenkins confirmed Rodgers will not be allowed to take any of Swansea’s players with him.

‘For me, the only way I was going to leave Swansea was for a big club, and I mean a big club,’ Rodgers told the South Wales Evening Post.

‘It was an extremely, extremely difficult decision because my plan was always to stay here at Swansea for a number of years.

‘I have always been up front and honest. I have always said that I wouldn’t be here forever and that one day I would go, but I honestly never thought the opportunity would come round now.

‘In my life and in my football, I have been very happy in Swansea.

‘But when an opportunity to work at a club which is more than a club comes round, it’s a professional challenge which is too good to turn down.

‘Liverpool are one of the dynasties of the game. They have won five European Cups and their status is up there with AC Milan, Inter Milan, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.’

But it seems he will not be allowed to boost his Anfield ambitions by taking players with him.

Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins told Wales Online: ‘I have a good relationship with Brendan and we’ve got some protection with him coming back in for our players in the short term.

‘We’ve got that agreement and a 12 month respite. The most important thing is our relationship is intact. ‘We have to look after our own interests and look to continue in the right manner.’

Rodgers hailed the Anfield side as one of the games giants as he made an emotional exit from Swansea.

He won praise for his attractive style of play at Swansea and initially turned down an approach from Liverpool before it became clear he was their preferred target.

He added: ‘I turned them down once out of respect, because I didn’t want to go into a process and disrespect anything about Swansea.

‘When they come in a second time and make you their number one target, then you have to think.

‘We have seen over a number of years that the number of British coaches who get a chance at the big clubs is very few.

‘When those opportunities come, and they may come only once, you have got to make a decision.’

Jose Mourinho has backed Rodgers, his former colleague at Chelsea, to succeed as Liverpool’s next manager.

The Real Madrid boss gave a shining endorsement to the 39-year-old as he takes the reins from Kenny Dalglish at Anfield.

Mourinho expressed his joy at Rodgers’ appointment and explained the coach’s willingness to come up with new ideas.

‘I am very happy with his appointment, especially because he did it as a consequence of all his amazing work at Swansea,’ Mourinho told The Sun.

He continued: ‘Brendan is a good man, a family guy and a friend. ‘When he joined us at Chelsea he was a young coach with lots of desire to learn.

‘But he was also a coach with ideas, who was ready not just to listen but also to communicate and share.’

Rodgers had agreed a three-year deal to succeed Kenny Dalglish, although negotiations looked set to be held up by a wrangle over compensation.

However, the Carling Cup winners have agreed to pay the £5million that was in Rodgers’ contract.

He has been told he can spend this summer and Sportsmail can reveal that, as well as attempting to hijack Swansea’s £6.8m move for Hoffenheim’s Icelandic midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson, Rodgers wanted his old club’s highly-rated Wales playmaker Allen, whom he sees as the type of player he needs to transfer his pass-and-move style of football to Anfield.

But Jenkins’ comments about the 12-month period means it is unlikely Allen will go be allowed to go to Liverpool.

Rodgers is already taking three members of his backroom staff to Anfield.

The 39-year-old has been given the go-ahead by Liverpool owners FSG to bring assistant manager Colin Pascoe, head of performance analysis Chris Davies and performance consultant Glen Driscoll to Anfield.

Swansea confirmed that compensation had been agreed for all three and their appointments will be finalised. Dalglish’s assistant Steve Clarke has had one resignation offer rejected at Anfield but it is understood that he will now leave.

Liverpool striker Craig Bellamy agreed with the choice of new manager. ‘I think they have made a very good appointment in Brendan Rodgers, I really do,’ he said.

‘He is a very good guy as well, speaks well, knows his football, and he has proven himself.’

Rodgers has been told there are no huge expectations for his debut season, while he has indicated to the owners that Liverpool are a club in need of major change and that will take time.

 

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