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Feb 22, 2013

Laudrup plays down Real link

Swansea City boss Michael Laudrup has refused to be drawn on links with Real Madrid as he prepares for the Capital One Cup final but played down his interest in managing an elite club.

• Blog: Swansea set for Wembley

Laudrup, who played for Real for two years in the mid-1990s after leaving Barcelona, has been tipped to take charge at the Bernabeu in the summer after topping a fan poll in the Madrid-based AS newspaper this week.

Ahead of Sunday's meeting with Bradford City at Wembley, though, the Dane has said any such speculation is an unwelcome distraction.

"It's not the moment to talk about the future," he told the media. "We're three days away from one of the biggest games in the history of this club, so to speak about other things would be a little ruthless in this moment. So let's focus on the big thing."

The Dane agreed a two-year deal when taking charge at the Liberty Stadium in the summer and his agent said earlier this month that talks were due over an extension.

In a separate interview with BT in his homeland, Laudrup - whose playing career also took in spells with Lazio, Juventus and Ajax - has indicated that he has no particular desire to manage one of the world's elite clubs.

"I do not dream about the top clubs," the former Brondby, Getafe and Mallorca boss said. "It's not important to me. I understand that it's the ultimate goal for coaches who haven't played at the top level. For a Briton, the clear goal is coaching Manchester United, taking over from Sir Alex Ferguson. I can easily understand that, but it's not the life for me."

He added in the English media: "I'm just happy to have the chance to be managing in one of the two major leagues in Europe. I'm not from Spain, England, Italy or Germany - I'm just a guy from Denmark."

Laudrup recently played down the significance of the Capital One Cup final, stressing that he had seen it all before as a player and a manager, but he knows success at Wembley would have a significant impact for the Swans.

"Winning a trophy would do a lot [to change the image of Swansea]," he said. "It would mean to go into Europe and that would be fantastic [in terms of] what it gives to the club and to the fans and maybe to the outside as well, as players might want to play in the competition, but what we have already done this season is way beyond what we could expect this season - in a cup final and with 37 points with 11 games to go."

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