Sven 'is duped by fake sheikh into negotiating new job'

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The Independent Online

Eriksson was lured to a meeting in Dubai with News Of The World investigator Mazher Mahmood - dressed in his customary headdress and robes - last week to discuss a bogus managerial deal when he finishes his England contract in 2008.

He said he could persuade David Beckham to follow him and would quit the England job if he won the World Cup with England in Germany this year.

Eriksson was persuaded that he was in talks with a wealthy Arab businessman, according to the newspaper, who were keen to buy into Aston Villa and install him as manager. The Swedish coach said he would look for a three-year contract with a salary that would match Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho's annual £5m.

Eriksson allegedly bragged that if he joined Villa, he could persuade Real Madrid star and England captain David Beckham to sign for the team.

Mahmood's past victims have included former London's Burning star John Alford, who was later jailed for supplying drugs; Sophie, Countess of Wessex; and Princess Michael of Kent.

It is understood that Eriksson and his agent, Athole Still, had FA permission for the Dubai trip.