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Michael Laudrup

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Chelsea are considering a sensational offer to former Real Madrid and Barcelona star Michael Laudrup to become their first team coach next season if Avram Grant is elevated to a more senior administrative role.

Tentative unofficial inquiries have already been made about whether the 43-year-old former Danish international would be available and interested in moving to Stamford Bridge.

Laudrup is currently coaching Getafe in Madrid, who scored a spectacular UEFA Cup victory over Benfica in Lisbon on Thursday night and beat Tottenham 2-1 at White Hart Lane earlier in the tournament.

He took over the club from current Real Madrid coach Bernd Schuster and has guided them to the semi-final of the Copa del Rey, where they hold a two-goal advantage over Real Santander going into the second leg.

After a distinguished playing career with Juventus, Barcelona and Real Madrid and being voted Denmark's bestever player, Laudrup had a spell as assistant coach with the national team before spending four years coaching Brondby, taking the Danish side to a cupleague double in 2005.

After a fall-out with Brondby over his contract renewal, he was linked with a number of clubs including Real Madrid before he moved to Getafe last July where he has attracted the interest of several top European clubs, including Chelsea.

He would have a powerful ally at Chelsea in chief talent scout Frank Arnesen — a fellow Dane who, like Laudrup, was born in Copenhagen.

Laudrup's name has become associated with Chelsea after manager Grant's defeat in the Carling Cup Final against Tottenham, which is expected to see another shake-up of the coaching staff this summer.

Grant and his assistant Henk ten Cate were appointed following the departure of Jose Mourinho earlier in the season, but the Dutch coach is already under scrutiny after his heated argument with captain John Terry the day before the final.

Ten Cate appears to be succumbing to the pressure after bizarrely blaming the British media for his problems.

He said: "The British decided not to publish the story about me and John Terry the next day. But we lost the Carling Cup Final against Tottenham Hotspur and that was what they were waiting for. It was so childish of them and it was not the first incident. When I first arrived here, it was suggested that I was forbidding the players to laugh. I did say something about that to the whole squad.

"I said to the players, there is a time when you can laugh and there is a time when you have to work hard. Those words to the squad were taken out of proportion. 'What does irritate me is when players from a squad deliberately leak stuff from within the changing room."

Speaking to De Telegraaf newspaper in Holland, Ten Cate added: "We are doing well yet the pressure here is enormous. As a manager you can't look ahead. You can't afford to lose a game."

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