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Apr, 16, 2013

Kombouare: English clubs approached me

Former Paris Saint-Germain coach Antoine Kombouare has said he was approached by several Premier League clubs after being sacked in December 2011.

Kombouare told L'Equipe that West Bromwich Albion, Swansea City and Tottenham Hotspur had all contacted him about potentially becoming their new coach.

However, the 49-year-old instead went to work for Saudi club Al-Hilal, who recently sacked him despite being second in the league and having qualified for the Asian Champions League.

PSG dismissed him after two and a half years in charge even though he had led them to top spot in Ligue 1, and he said he could then have crossed the Channel to work in the English top flight.

"After being sacked by PSG, I took a breather for six months and travelled the world with my wife," he told the paper.

"On my return, I wanted to manage in the Premier League rather than return to France. I had contact with some clubs, but nothing ever came of it because I was always second or third on their lists.

"I went to London for discussions, but they never led anywhere. As I didn't want to join a small club or move to a minor European league, I opted for Saudi Arabia.

"It was an interesting move from a sporting point of view, and financially they offered me a contract I just couldn't refuse."

After Kombouare left PSG, his replacement, Carlo Ancelotti, proved unable to lead the club to the title, being pipped at the post by Montpellier.

Kombouare said he had no regrets about his departure from the Parc des Princes, explaining: "I was never part of their [PSG's Qatari owners] plans. It was just a question of time. I had a very cold relationship with [sporting director] Leonardo.

"But I am not complaining. I have no regrets because I felt they had no confidence in me. I did my job, and said to the players: 'I could be sacked at any time, but I want to be sacked as high up the table as possible.'"

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