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Avram Grant sacked as Chelsea coach

SoccerNews in English Premier League 24 May 2008

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Avram Grant was sacked as manager of Chelsea on Saturday after less than one season in charge and in the immediate aftermath of the club's heartbreaking Champions League final defeat.

Grant's future at the English Premier League giants has attracted fierce speculation almost from the time he inherited the Stamford Bridge reins from Jose Mourinho eight months ago.

And just three days after his side came off second best in a penalty shoot-out to Manchester United in the Champions League final in Moscow the 53-year-old Israeli's tenure is now at an end.

Names in the frame to succeed the Israeli include Barcelona's Frank Rijkaard, Inter Milan coach Roberto Mancini and Russia's Dutch boss Guus Hiddink.

Despite the constant questioning of his position Grant, a close friend of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, had been credited with leading the club to their first ever Champions League final.

He also oversaw their late surge for the league title, taking United down to the final day of the season before they were forced to settle for second place.

The club announced the sacking in a statement on their official website.

“Chelsea Football Club can confirm that Avram Grant has had his contract as manager terminated today (Saturday),” the statement read.

“This follows meetings over the last two days. Everybody at Chelsea FC would like to thank Avram for his contribution since taking over as manager last September.

“We will now be concentrating all our efforts on identifying a new manager for Chelsea and there will be no further comment until that appointment is made.”

The futures of Chelsea assistants Steve Clarke and Henk Ten Cate are unclear, but no official word has yet been given on their positions.

Reports in the British press suggest Grant may return to a job upstairs at Stamford Bridge as director of football, a post he held under Mourinho before he was plucked from relative obscurity to occupy one of the hottest seats in football.

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