Eriksson tops Real's shrinking list of targets for manager

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The Independent Online

Sven Goran Eriksson is emerging as Real Madrid's number one foreign candidate in their search for a new manager after the Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti yesterday joined a long list of coaches ruling themselves out of the race.

After three years without a trophy Real may yet turn to a Spanish coach - two former managers, Vicente Del Bosque and José Antonio Camacho, are both being touted - but should they look abroad, Eriksson by default is now looking like a serious candidate.

Arsène Wenger, the Arsenal manager, has admitted he would like the job at some point but that now would not be the right time. Fabio Capello yesterday went on record as saying he was "certain he would be staying at Juventus". And Ancelotti signed a one-year extension to his contract at Milan until 2008.

The Real Madrid president Fernando Martin wants an international heavyweight to present to fans who may yet demand elections at the end of the season. Martin took over as president after Florentino Pérez quit last month.

Eriksson is available and after four lucrative years in charge of England would not be as financially demanding as candidates such as Capello, who is rumoured to want a bigger wage than the club's highest-paid player. He is also close to two of Real's top transfer targets, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ashley Cole.

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