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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

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AVB to speak to Liverpool

Andre Villas-Boas will this weekend be interviewed for the vacant managerial post at Liverpool.

• Barnes backs AVB for Reds
• Whelan warns Martinez
• Rodgers rebuffs Reds

Villas-Boas, who has been out of work since losing the Chelsea job in March, fits the criteria of the Liverpool owners as they target a young coach who can remain in the job long-term. Wigan manager Roberto Martinez, 38, also remains in the frame for the post.

ESPN sources have also revealed that Liverpool plan to approach Pep Guardiola via Luis Suarez's agent, who is the outgoing Barcelona coach's brother. Even so, they recognise that the 41-year-old is a long shot, considering he has already rejected Chelsea's overtures and remains insistent that he will take a year's sabbatical.

Fenway Sports Group's 'long list' of ten candidates does include older managers, and former England boss Fabio Capello, 65, may be sounded out. Rafael Benitez is not on that list "for the time being" but he might eventually be included, if some of the prime candidates fall by the wayside, and it is ESPN's understanding that he has registered his interest in the post.

Marseille's Didier Deschamps, Ajax's Frank de Boer and Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk are also on the long list, but Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers and Borussia Dortmund's Jurgen Klopp - who led his side to a league and cup double this season - have both turned down the chance to be interviewed. Klopp said: "I have been made aware of interest from England, and it is an honour to be linked with big clubs in the Premier League, but I have a contract with Dortmund until 2016 and am going nowhere."

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