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Benfica give up on Eriksson

SoccerNews in English Premier League 15 May 2008

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Portuguese giants Benfica said Thursday they have given up trying to lure Manchester City manager Sven Goran Eriksson to Lisbon.

Benfica had been poised to hand the former England manager the reins to their first division side but said that uncertainties over the Swede's future at the City of Manchester ground have forced them to look elsewhere.

“Because the uncertainty over his professional situation is still ongoing we can't wait any longer. We will now start looking at other options,” said Benfica's new sporting director Rui Costa.

“We now consider this option closed.”

Benfica, who finished fourth in the first division this season, have been looking for a coach since Spaniard Jose Antonio Camacho quit in March.

Eriksson had been a logical candidate as he coached the former Portuguese champions twice before, in 1982-1984 and 1989-1992.

After leading his side to ninth in the English Premier League this season Eriksson has come under fire from the club owner Thaksin Shinawatra, the deposed Thai prime minister who bought the club after his ouster from power in September 2006.

Eriksson arrived in Thailand on Wednesday to meet with Thaksin, less than a week after his side suffered a humiliating 8-1 defeat at Middlesbrough on Sunday in their final game of the season.

Manchester City are in Thailand to play a post-season match with a local show team, before heading to Hong Kong next week.

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