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Arsenal must end season on a high

Arsenal
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Reds to reveal new manager on Friday

Liverpool plan to make the announcement of their new manager on Friday, ESPN understands. They have whittled their list of candidates down to Wigan's Roberto Martinez and Swansea's Brendan Rodgers, after a thorough search for the right man to replace Kenny Dalglish.

• Joe Cole hoping for second chance
• Whelan wants Reds to get Rodgers

Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins met Rodgers on Tuesday to discuss his future at the club, with Rodgers believed to be interested in discussing the Anfield job with the Reds' owners.

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan told ESPN that his manager is back in England but he is yet to speak to him. Informed that Liverpool are keen on Rodgers, Whelan said: "I hope they sign him but I have not heard from my manager yet."

Martinez had looked the clear favourite to be named Liverpool manager but his concerns over the mooted appointment of Louis van Gaal as sporting director, and his expected control over transfers, have swung a two-horse race back towards Rodgers.

However, Jenkins has shown marked reluctance to even grant Rodgers permission to speak to Liverpool, whereas Whelan has fulfilled his pledge to Martinez to allow him to go to a big club, should he wish to do so.

Amid growing speculation, Jenkins said of Rodgers on Monday: "We would like to confirm that there has been no contact from Liverpool and nothing has changed since our previous statement on the issue."

Fed up with the procrastinations of Liverpool, Whelan has given Martinez until Thursday to make his decision. Liverpool will take the next 48 hours to finalise their plans and an announcement is expected to be delivered on Friday.

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