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May 31, 2012

Liverpool close in on Rodgers

Liverpool have agreed a compensation package with Swansea to take manager Brendan Rodgers to Anfield as Kenny Dalglish's successor and he will be paraded before the press at 10am on Friday.

• Jolly: Rodgers dethrones The King
• Blog: Bye bye Brendan

Rodgers, along with three members of his backroom staff will leave the Liberty Stadium to take control of Liverpool after a reported £5 million deal was struck.

A statement on the Swansea website read: "We can today confirm that a compensation package with Liverpool has been agreed for manager Brendan Rodgers and three members of his backroom staff. Both clubs have been in discussions to sort suitable compensation for Brendan along with assistant manager Colin Pascoe, performance analyst Chris Davies and head of sports science and medicine Glen Driscoll.

"The Swans have agreed to allow the backroom trio to join Brendan following discussions between himself and chairman Huw Jenkins. The club now starts its search for Brendan's successor.

"That involves looking at a number of chosen candidates who are well suited to provide Swansea City with continuity which we feel is paramount to our ongoing development as a Premier League club. We hope to conclude this as soon as possible.''

Wigan have given Swansea permission to speak to their assistant manager Graeme Jones, who was part of Roberto Martinez's backroom staff when the Spaniard was in charge at the Liberty Stadium. Jones was approached by the Swans to take over from Paolo Sousa prior to their appointment of Rodgers in 2010.

Whelan told Sky Sports News: "I had half a dozen phone calls saying Swansea were wanting permission to talk to Graeme and I said I really don't know because our chief executive (Jonathan Jackson) was in a Premier League meeting.

"But he rang me at 2.30 and said that was the case and we gave them permission immediately. Roberto doesn't believe in holding people back. It's a free country but if he goes we'll miss him immensely. He's ambitious, has played for us and is a football man through and through.

"He's worked with Roberto for a few years but I think he's up for the challenge and is a very good lad. Roberto would like him to stay - they've been a great partnership for quite a while and the first thing Roberto said was he'd miss him immensely.

"But you can't stop progress and it's unfair to say 'you can't take that job, you're under contract'. It's not fair.''

Rodgers, who managed in the Premier League for the first time this season after taking Swansea up from the Championship, has won many admirers for his team's style of football.

Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group are among those to have sat up and taken notice of Rodgers and he will now take on the biggest job of his career to date as he attempts to transform the league fortunes of a club that has not won the title since 1990.

Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins confirmed that a deal was close on Wednesday: "I was contacted by Liverpool [on Tuesday] night and they expressed their wish to speak to Brendan regarding their vacancy.

"I had a discussion with Brendan to talk about their interest and his views on whether he wanted to speak to Liverpool. He expressed his wish with me to do that and he has spoken with Liverpool today.

"Following discussions with Liverpool's owners Brendan has informed us that he would like to take up their offer to manage Liverpool. At the moment we are currently in talks with the owners to agree compensation. We are trying to finalise that within the next 24 hours.

"Although we are very disappointed to lose such a talented, young British manager we did not wish to stand in his way."

"As always at Swansea City, we want people working here who are fully committed to the task ahead. We wish Brendan every success in the future. We will always remain good friends and we thank him for all his hard work and passion at this football club over the past two years.

"We shall now refocus and quickly start the process of finding his replacement to continue the great work Brendan has carried out at this football club."

Liverpool won the Carling Cup in 2011-12 under Kenny Dalglish, their first trophy in six years, but it was not enough for the club's ambitious owners, who sacked the Anfield icon after they only finished 8th in the Premier League.

Rodgers arrives having guided Swansea, the first Welsh side to play in the Premier League, to an 11th-place finish after being promoted through the play-offs in 2011.

The Northern Irishman will now be consulted on the identity of a new sporting director, which might mean ditching plans to appoint Louis van Gaal in the role, designed to split the workload of former director of football Damien Comolli, who was sacked in April.

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