As Swansea City prepare for the most glamourous game in their history, their manager, Michael Laudrup, has assured supporters that he has no ambition to manage clubs like Real Madrid or Chelsea, both of whom he has been linked with recently.
In the Dane's first season since replacing Brendan Rodgers last summer, the Welsh side are heavy favourites to win their first major domestic title by beating Bradford City in today's Capital One Cup final at Wembley.
The 5-0 defeat at Liverpool last weekend, when Laudrup rested a number of first-choice players, was a rare blip in a campaign many pundits predicted would end in relegation after Rodgers and key players such as Joe Allen and Scott Sinclair left for bigger clubs.
Laudrup, who has kept the side in the top half of the Premier League table almost all season, says he has no desire to follow them. "I have a lot of ambitions with the team I have, but I have no special dream to go to a top team," he said.
Having played for Real Madrid – where many fans want him to replace Jose Mourinho this summer – and Barcelona, he has seen how unstable big clubs can be. "Let's say I had the ambition to be manager one day of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Juventus, whatever," he said.
"Finally I arrive. I finish second, I go out of the Champions' League semi-final on penalties, I lose 2-1 in the national cup final.
"For 10 years I've done everything to get there and then after nine months, I'm out. Why live for that? I've been there as a player for top clubs. It can be much more pleasure to be somewhere where you don't have to win titles."
According to Laudrup's agent, Bayram Tutumlu, there will be talks with Swansea soon about extending the manager's contract, which runs until the end of next season. The club chairman, Huw Jenkins, said: "I think he will sign a new contract."
Whichever team win today will qualify for the Europa League next season, and last night Bradford were distancing themselves from talk that they could decline to enter if doing so was likely to cost them money. "Playing in Europe would be an absolute privilege," a Bradford spokeswoman said.Reuse content