Pep Guardiola and Fabio Capello on Anfield list as Liverpool cast net wide in manager search

At least eight names on Anfield's list as Wigan give all clear for Roberto Martinez talks

Liverpool moved rapidly to replace Kenny Dalglish yesterday with plans to approach at least eight managers from across Britain and Europe, including Wigan Athletic's Roberto Martinez, Swansea City's Brendan Rodgers, and even an ambitious bid to ascertain Pep Guardiola's interest.

Fenway Sports Group's determination to cover all options available to them makes an approach to Fabio Capello, also currently out of work, quite possible. It is understood that Andre Villas-Boas is also among the managers approached on the continent, with initial contact having come through his agent. He is believed to be receptive to the idea, though Roma provide competition, having approached him first. Guardiola is the most intriguing name and Liverpool possess a link to him through his brother Pere, the agent of Luis Suarez. That approach is highly speculative, though, and unlikely to yield a result after the Spaniard's decision to step down from Barcelona.

The Wigan chairman, Dave Whelan, has granted Liverpool permission to speak to Martinez, though as of early yesterday evening Swansea had not provided clearance for FSG, Liverpool's owners, to speak with Rodgers. Chairman Huw Jenkins has a record of being a formidable negotiator. He made it difficult for Martinez to leave Swansea for Wigan and would demand every penny of Rodgers' £5m compensation clause.

Liverpool's problem may be convincing managers on their wishlist that they are a big enough for them. Though the CV of Borussia Dortmund's Jürgen Klopp – two Bundesliga titles with minimal outlay on wages or transfers - is impeccable, the view from Germany last night was that it would be profoundly difficult to attract him to Anfield. The 44-year-old is under contract until 2016, totally wedded to the club and next season's Champions League campaign, and Dortmund would not release him for any price. As The Independent reported yesterday, Villas-Boas would be far easier to attract. So would Marseilles' Didier Deschamps, after a tough year at the club, the fans' desire to see him gone and his own aspiration to manage in England. Deschamps has two years left on his contract but is not the team player Liverpool seek, having been unable to work with Marseilles' director of football José Anigo.

The Americans have hired unnamed external consultants to aid their pursuit of a manager. Ayre would not disclose details, nor confirm whether they had experience of Premier League football. "They are sufficiently experienced enough to be in a position to advise," he said, and had not been involved in the decision to dismiss Dalglish. It is understood that FSG have also engaged London-based management consultants for assistance on the appointment of a chief executive and the creation of what one source describes as a player-development fund.

On a day which revealed fascinating evidence of FSG's determination to hollow out much of the top management at Liverpool and initiate a restructure, Ayre disclosed that Damien Comolli, former director of football, will be replaced by two senior personnel, within the next two weeks. It seem that one will handle the technical director portfolio and another will deal with the football administration side. Those two appointments will be announced quickly because Liverpool are keen to avoid undermining a new manager by appointing them after him.

Ayre revealed yesterday that his own contract as managing director has been extended, with a replacement for the former commercial director Graham Bartlett, who recently left the club, also about to join.

Ayre admitted that Dalglish would have been dismissed even if he had delivered Liverpool the FA Cup, because the club cannot afford the continued loss of Champions League revenue which is allowing other clubs to power ahead of them financially. In a clear break with the club's past, Ayre said cup success was no longer enough to sustain the club in the modern era.

"The Carling Cup and the FA Cup don't generate the revenue and the success that is needed to keep investing," Ayre said. "If you want to be successful, you have got to keep investing. People don't want to hear that football is a business. They don't. They want to see us put lots and lots of money into the football team and win lots of trophies and games. But you have got to have both. You have got to have continued progress in the league. If you don't do well in the league and you don't get into the Champions League, you are writing cheques from your own pocket, aren't you? That is not a sustainable way, going forward."

He did not dispel the idea of Dalglish's successor losing his job if he failed to deliver the owners' targets. "It will be about a set of measurements that are expected to be achieved. I'm sure if they are not, we would make a change – wouldn't you?"

To the question of whether prospective managers would feel the allure of Liverpool, Ayre said: "I think that if you lined up some of the big names you are alluding to, Liverpool still gets everyone excited and interested. If you are a manager at that level or you are a manager aspiring to get there, I still think this is one of the biggest jobs in world football."

News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
News
Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
people
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower