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 Posted by ESPN Staff
May, 27, 2008

Grant confirms he turned down return to old role

TEL AVIV, May 27 (Reuters) - Avram Grant rejected an offer to return to his old job as Chelsea's director of football after being sacked as the club's manager on Saturday, he said on Tuesday.

Grant, who initially joined the London club as director of football in July last year before succeeding Jose Mourinho as manager in September, said: 'I understand the offer and why it was made but I thought that from my point of view it was not the correct move.

'What I discussed (privately) will stay private but let's say that I saw that it was not a good move for me at this stage.'

Grant was speaking to reporters in Hebrew and English before lecturing fellow Israeli coaches at a UEFA Pro coaching course in Tel Aviv, which he is also participating in.

Despite media reports that he had been shocked and angry at his sacking after taking the club to the Champions League final for the first time and losing only on penalties, he said he looked back on his eight months in charge with fond memories.

'Roman (Abramovich) gave me the opportunity and what I had to say to him was that I love the club and now each of us goes his own way,' he said.

'It was a great time, I enjoyed very much to be at Chelsea, I breathed the club 24 hours a day during the time I was in charge. More than this, I enjoyed the development of the club and towards the end, the supporters, who were great. I wish them luck.

'It was a wonderful chapter in my life, I enjoyed it. It was an extraordinary professional experience and it was good to end it with 40,000 fans cheering and appreciating my work.

'I understand the initial hesitancy over my appointment but I am happy that we ended up in this way. I really like Chelsea ... I really want them to succeed but now we each go our own way.'

Grant refused to discuss media reports that he had taken on a high-profile lawyer to fight for a higher compensation package than he had been offered but did say: 'There are no problems with Chelsea, if I need to I will talk to them directly, not through lawyers.

'The amount doesn't even come close to what was written in the papers but I won't mind if somebody will be prepared to make up the difference,' Grant said.

He also refused to discuss speculation that he would succeed Sven-Goran Eriksson as manager of Manchester City.

'I can't say anything at the moment. If there will be something we'll talk, at the moment nothing is happening,' he said.

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