Liverpool manager: Guardiola is Plan A, while Martinez is Plan B
Liverpool hope to coax Pep Guardiola out of retirement, but even second choice Martinez might reject them
FORGET going after Swansea's Brendan Rogers or Newcastle's Alan Pardew, Liverpool want the big man for their next manager and are lining up a "sensational" move for Pep Guardiola.
According to The Sun the Reds see Guardiola, who left Barcelona last week after four successful years, as the man to bring back the glory years to Anfield.
But Guardiola has quality pedigree having won two Champions League titles with Barcelona and three domestic league crowns. The 41-year-old Spaniard declared last month that he wanted to spend time away from football with his family and The Sun claims Liverpool's American owners, Fenway Sports Group, accept their chances of luring Guardiola out of his sabbatical are "slim".
But nothing ventured nothing gained and they are pinning their hopes on the possibility Guardiola may fancy the challenge of restoring the fortunes of the once great club.
If that's Liverpool's Plan A then Plan B involves Roberto Martinez. The Wigan manager has been given permission by club chairman Dave Whelan to talk to the Reds.
"Roberto asked was I in agreement that he could talk to them and I told him 'Of course'," explained Whelan, adding: "Now we have to see what he decides. If Liverpool are serious, we may lose him."
Martinez is also on Aston Villa's shortlist after they last week sacked Alex McLeish and according to the Daily Mail they have already held "positive" talks. Martinez believes less pressure and more realistic expectations come with the Villa job and is therefore likely to reject the chance to join Liverpool.
The Independent, meanwhile, claims that Fenway Sports Group have hired a team of headhunters to help in their "pursuit of a manager" and with other restructuring within Liverpool football club. The role of Damien Comolli, the former director of football who was sacked last month, will be replaced by two senior personnel with one concentrating on administration and the other the football.
In addition, Liverpool's new communications director is Jen Chang, formerly senior football editor at American magazine Sports Illustrated.
Managing Director Ian Ayre is at the forefront of the restructuring and admitted that Dalglish, who steered Liverpool to Carling Cup glory, would have been fired even if they had beaten Chelsea in the FA Cup Final.
"The Carling Cup and the FA Cup don't generate the revenue and the success that is needed to keep investing," said Ayre, adding: "You have got to have continued progress in the league. If you don't do well in the league and you don't get into the Champions League, you are writing cheques from your own pocket, aren't you? That is not a sustainable way, going forward."