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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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By ESPN Staff

Charlton set to announce management trio

Charlton's search for a new manager has come to an end with the club set to unveil a new three-man team at a press conference on Tuesday.

The identity of the new coaching staff has been kept a closely-guarded secret as the Addicks board maintain their policy of silence over the successor to long-serving boss Alan Curbishley, who left the club after 15 years at the end of the season.

Charlton advertised for the post and since May 12 have been pursuing candidates on their shortlist.

Earlier this week Preston boss Billy Davies joined Hull boss Peter Taylor in dropping out of the race, but now it seems the south-east London club have finally got the combination they feel can take them forward.

In a statement on the club website, Addicks chairman Richard Murray revealed the club would hold a press conference next Tuesday to announce the new set-up.

Recently-departed Crystal Palace manager Iain Dowie is understood to also have held talks with the Charlton board, while Colchester boss Phil Parkinson, Bolton coach Sammy Lee and former Sunderland and Republic of Ireland boss Mick McCarthy have all been linked with the job.

Charlton indicated their keenness to have a new backroom staff in place as soon as possible following the unexpected announcement on April 29 that Curbishley would be leaving at the end of the season following a distinguished 15-year stint in charge.

However, the process has clearly not been a smooth one, with several other clubs' preparations since disrupted by the continued speculation over the future of their managers.

Meanwhile, the club have released strikers Shaun Bartlett, Jonatan Johansson and Francis Jeffers.

The trio hardly featured last season, with Jeffers spending a period on loan at Rangers while Johansson ended the campaign at Coca-Cola Championship side Norwich.

Former England striker Jeffers, 25, has been a huge disappointment since his arrival from Arsenal in a £2.6million deal during the summer of 2004, and the ending of commitment to his hefty wages will release much-needed funds for new talent.

South African Bartlett, now 33, made 139 appearances for the Addicks and scored 26 goals, including a double on his home debut in a 3-3 draw with Manchester United during December 2000.

He said: 'I have always been made to feel very welcome at Charlton, and want to thank the club and fans for that. I had a great time.

'It is the end of an era, with Curbs leaving as well.

'I have got quite a few options now, but I have not made any decisions yet.'

Finland striker Johansson should also find several clubs all around Europe are interested in the services of the the 30-year-old former Rangers striker.

He told the club's official website, www.cafc.co.uk: 'It has been a great six years, but football has its ups and downs and everything has to come to an end. Looking back I had a great time.'

Jeffers, though, will hardly be able to look back on his time at The Valley with fond memories.

The one-time Everton prodigy made only 25 appearances in two seasons at The Valley - all of which came in the 2004-05 campaign.

After failing to force his way back into Curbishley's first-team plans, Jeffers was loaned out to Rangers at the end of August - but could not make an impact at Ibrox, where he did not manage a single goal before returning south in January.

Jason Euell is another player whose time at The Valley may be up, with Cardiff the latest club linked with the wantaway 29-year-old Jamaica international.

Charlton, though, have already moved to strengthen their squad, with the signing of United States defender Cory Gibbs and Uruguay centre-back Gonzalo Sorondo, who spent an injury-hit campaign on loan at the club last year.

The Addicks are still awaiting on a work permit for Gibbs, who has this week been ruled out of the World Cup with a knee injury.