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Prospective West Ham Bidders in a Date with Sven

Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson was spotted having dinner with Eli Papouchado, one of the men said to be involved in a prospective takeover bid for West Ham United, and Israeli super-agent Pini Zahavi in Tel Aviv on Sunday, sparking rumors that Papouchado and Zahavi may be courting Eriksson for the coaching job at West Ham should they complete a takeover of the club. After the story ran in several British tabloids, Eriksson's advisors immediately denied any link between Eriksson, the Israeli businessmen, and West Ham. "It was an absolutely private dinner and it was not in any way connected with West Ham football club," said Athole Still, Eriksson's agent. Both Papouchado and Zahavi are said to be helping Iranian Kia Joorabchian coordinate the prospective buy-out. Should it goes through, Joorabchian and his backers will be on the lookout for a new manager after West Ham's dismal showing in the last two months, where it has earned just one point from its last nine games in all competitions. Eriksson, meanwhile, had been in Israel for several days, watching former Champions League team Maccabi Haifa as well as an Israeli-Palestinian youth soccer initiative. If Joorabchian fails to mount a bid, the West Ham board is unlikely to turn to Eggert Magnusson, the Icelandic head of a rival consortium, according to the Guardian. If nothing happens, expect Alan Pardew to stay on as manager of the club given its uncertain climate.

Read the whole story at The Guardian »

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