Eriksson still weeks from learning City fate

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The Independent Online

Despite reports that Sven Goran Eriksson is about to become the coach of Mexico, Manchester City said they will decide on the future of their manager in just over two weeks, according to an adviser to the club's owner Thaksin Shinawatra.

Pairoj Piempongsant, a prominent Thai businessman actively involved in recruiting players for City, said the club was still pursuing the former world player of the year Ronaldinho and would make a decision on both he and Eriksson by 15 June. "The negotiations must be complete by June 15, which include the team manager," Pairoj told the Thai-language Thansettakij newspaper.

Thaksin, the ousted former Thai prime minister, is undertaking a "technical review", which could see the former England manager sacked after less than a year in charge. Reports of his imminent dismissal have upset players and prompted an angry response from City fans, who have questioned Thaksin's knowledge of football and motives for buying the club.

Thaksin gave no comment yesterday when asked by reporters about Eriksson's future, while Pairoj added that City were relentless in their pursuit of Ronaldinho and had urged him to choose them over Milan and Internazionale.

He met Ronaldinho's brother and agent, Roberto de Assis Moreira, in Bangkok last week. Pairoj said Ronaldinho had already won major honours and joining a smaller club would give him "a new challenge". "I presented him with a vision why we strongly believe in his potential, that he is the best player of the world," he said. "There are several clubs, all bigger than Man City, that are approaching him. There isn't anything left for him to win. It is like a teenager who gets bored quickly and always looks for new challenges."

Ronaldinho joined Barcelona in 2003 and helped them win back-to-back league titles in 2005 and 2006 and the Champions League in 2006. He has been out since mid-March with a leg injury and the Barcelona president Joan Laporta has said the player needs to leave the club to revive his career.

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