Queens Park Rangers’ assistant manager John Eustace has ‘reluctantly’ decided to turn down the Swansea City job, according to The Telegraph.
The 41-year-old currently stands alongside manager Mark Warburton at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium and was hot favourite to be Steve Cooper’s replacement after the Welshman’s departure earlier this week.
But the Swans will seemingly need to look at alternative candidates on their shortlist as this move collapses despite QPR giving their assistant manager permission to speak to their Championship rivals.
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Swansea will be desperate to bring in a manager soon after reaching the play-off final last summer and will be hoping to build on two consecutive finishes in the top six.
In Cooper’s first season, they clinched sixth spot in remarkable fashion with a 4-1 win away at Reading on the final day of the 2019/20 campaign, but fell short to Brentford in the semi-finals.
With the Bees losing to Fulham in the final and both sides regaining their places in the playoffs in the last campaign, both teams made it through their semi-finals against AFC Bournemouth and Barnsley respectively and met at Wembley Stadium in May.
But two quickfire goals from Ivan Toney and Emiliano Marcondes in the first half consigned the Swans to another year of Championship football.
However, these two finishes at the top end of the Championship table were seen as a major achievement and he was heavily linked with the Crystal Palace and Fulham jobs over the summer, only for Patrick Vieira and Marco Silva to be appointed instead of him.
The Swansea board were said to be annoyed at Cooper for openly applying for multiple jobs over the summer and both parties finally agreed a mutual termination of his contract earlier this week.
This was partly due to the manager’s concern about the club’s direction according to The Telegraph’s John Percy, after seeing several of his key players leave since the start of his tenure at the Liberty Stadium.
The reason for Eustace’s rejection remains undisclosed, although it’s thought he was reluctant to turn the offer down.
Although the club will be disappointed to lose out on their top target with under two weeks to go until the new season, Eustace only has permanent managerial experience at Kidderminster Harriers and supporters of the club will be hoping they have someone with more experience lined up as an alternative.
They can only hope the club’s hierarchy haven’t placed all their eggs in one basket with Eustace because they need to act quickly considering their current situation.
The manager will need time to implement his playing style, get to know his current squad, identify who is surplus to requirements and potential players to bring in to improve the team.
Doing it in this time period is hard enough, it would be almost impossible to do it if they remain without a manager for much longer.
They have the ingredients to be a great team, the last two seasons have shown it. But it will now be fascinating to see how the Swams cope without Cooper.