Grant: Write me off at your peril

By Simon Griver, January 19, 2012
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Confident: Avram Grant

Confident: Avram Grant

As Avram Grant signed an 18-month deal to manage Serbian champions Partizan Belgrade, he pledged to return to the Premier League.

Grant, who has managed at Chelsea, West Ham and Portsmouth, said: "It is no secret that I still want to manage in England where I have been for the past five years.

"I love the place but the offers I received in England were not good enough and probably people remember last season with West Ham and not what I did before that."

Grant was greeted in Belgrade by Partizan fans bearing banners saying "Avram Go Home".

The Israeli replaces the popular Aleksander Stanojevic, who was sacked after falling out with club chairman Dragan Djuric despite a successful spell where the team won the Serbian title and reached the group stages of the Champions League.

Stanojevic left the club 10 points clear at the top going into the winter break. One survey showed that only 20 per cent of Partizan fans support Grant's appointment.

The situation is reminiscent of 2007 when Grant replaced Jose Mourinho at Chelsea after he was sacked by Roman Abramovich despite winning back-to-back titles.

Grant took Chelsea to the Champions League final but lost his job after the defeat against Manchester United after a penalty shootout. He then presided over successive relegations with Portsmouth and West Ham.

Grant will reportedly earn €500,000-a-year with a €400,000 bonus if Partizan qualify for the Champions League group stage.

Grant said: "Partizan is a team with a great reputation and tradition.

"I'm taking on a great challenge and I know we will build a team that succeeds in Europe."

Last updated: 2:52pm, January 19 2012