Eriksson 'accepts England coaching vacancy'

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The Independent Online

Sven Goran Eriksson has signed a contract to become England's next coach, according to reports in Italy quoting the Swede's current club, Lazio.

Sven Goran Eriksson has signed a contract to become England's next coach, according to reports in Italy quoting the Swede's current club, Lazio.

Sergio Cragnotti, the Rome club's president, was reported as saying: "I could not stand in his way. It is the chance of a lifetime." He added that Eriksson would see out his contract with Lazio, which runs until the end of the current season.

The Italian reports indicated that Eriksson had signed a five-year deal with the Football Association to take charge from 1 July next year, at a salary of £2m a year after tax.

Since Kevin Keegan resigned after the 1-0 defeat by Germany in a World Cup qualifier at Wembley earlier this month, Eriksson had emerged as the favourite to fill the vacancy. One of the most popular figures in Serie A, the Swede has been coaching in Italy for 13 years - Roma, Fiorentina, Sampdoria and, since 1997, at Lazio. He guided the Rome club to the 1998 Italian Cup and the European Cup-Winners' Cup in 1999.

That season his side faded in the final two months of the season and lost the league title to Milan by a single point on the final day. But Last season he took Lazio to their first league title in 26 years. He won a Swedish title with IFK Gothenburg in 1981 and three Portuguese championships with Benfica in 1983, 1984 and 1991.

The Leicester City manager, Peter Taylor, and Manchester United's No 2, Steve McLaren, are in temporary charge for England's friendly against Italy in Turin on 15 November.

* Milan will not face expulsion from the Champions' League after suggestions that their Brazilian goalkeeper Nelson Dida, who played against Leeds, was not eligible. Dida originally signed for Milan as a European Community player, despite owning a forged Portuguese passport. Dida's registration has now been altered.

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