Portuguese giants Benfica have given up trying to lure Manchester City manager Sven Goran Eriksson to Lisbon. Benfica had been poised to hand the former England coach their reins, but said that uncertainties over the Swede's future at the City of Manchester Stadium have forced them to look elsewhere.
"Because the uncertainty over his professional situation is still ongoing we can't wait any longer. We will now start looking at other options," said Benfica's new sporting director Manuel Rui Costa. "We now consider this option closed."
Benfica, who finished fourth in the league this season, have been looking for a coach since Spaniard Jose Antonio Camacho quit in March. Eriksson had been a logical candidate as he coached the two-time European Cup winners twice before, from 1982 to 1984 and beteen 1989 and 1992.
After leading Manchester City to a ninth-placed finish in the 2007/08 English Premier League, Eriksson has come under fire from the club's Thai owner Thaksin Shinawatra. Eriksson arrived in Thailand on Wednesday to meet with Thaksin, less than a week after his side suffered a humiliating 8-1 defeat at Middlesbrough in their final game of the season.
Manchester City are in Thailand to play a post-season match with a local exhibition team, before heading to Hong Kong next week.