Michael Laudrup will not be drawn on his future as Swansea City manager ahead of Capital One Cup final at Wembley, with speculation linking him to Real Madrid.
London: Michael Laudrup will not be drawn on his future as Swansea City manager ahead of Sunday's Capital One (League) Cup final at Wembley, with speculation linking him to Real Madrid. Laudrup, who signed a two-year deal with Swansea when he joined them in the close season, is putting the final touches to his preparations to win the club's first major English trophy against fourth tier giant-killers Bradford City.
After an impressive debut campaign at the Welsh club, the Dane has emerged as a contender to replace Jose Mourinho at Real, with an online fans' poll making him the overwhelming favourite to take the job should the Portuguese quit. "It's not the moment to talk about the future. We're days away from one of the biggest games in the history of this club, so to speak about other things would be a little ruthless," Laudrup, who spent two years at Real as a player, told reporters.
"We don't have to let anything come between us now. We have to focus on this game. Anything else, it's secondary right now." Laudrup joined the club in June with fans questioning whether he could build on the success of former manager Brendan Rodgers, who had guided them into the Premier League and then to an 11th place finish before joining Liverpool.
One of Laudrup's first tasks at the club was to sell two of the previous campaign's best performers in midfielder Joe Allen to Liverpool and playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson to Tottenham Hotspur. A second-season dip failed to materialise, however, and the club has continued on an upward curve. The Dane was keen to guard against complacency ahead of Sunday's match against Bradford, who have already disposed of Premier League sides Arsenal, Aston Villa and Wigan Athletic, though he was aware what victory could do for the Welsh club.
"Winning a trophy would do a lot (to change Swansea's image)," Laudrup said. "It would mean to go into Europe and that would be fantastic: what it gives to the club and the fans - less in terms of money - and maybe to the outside world as well, as players might want to play in the competition."