Pompey beckons as Grant bunks off school again

Football Former Chelsea boss Avram Grant is being lined up for manager's job at Portsmouth, the JC can reveal.

He missed the last session of his Uefa PRO license course in Israel on Monday to attend the Premier League match against Manchester United.

Grant's presence at Fratton Park, despite a pressing reason for being in Israel, has fuelled speculation that Pompey's owner Alexandre Gaydamak is lining up the 53-year-old to replace Harry Redknapp as manager.
Amnon Raz, chairman of the Israel Coaches Association, said that Grant had called him at the weekend to say he would be unavailable for the final session of the course, even though his attendance was mandatory for receiving his coaching licence.

Last season the FA allowed Grant to manage Chelsea without his licence on the condition that he would have certification by the start of this season.

Grant's sacking by Chelsea three days after the Champions League final in May has reduced the urgency for the licence. But having declared his intention to return to top-flight management in England, the Israeli needs his coaching badge.

Moreover, Raz said that Grant had failed to complete his homework. "I am still waiting for his summer assignment," he said.

"He is supposed to write an end-of-term paper analysing one of the teams in the Euro 2008 finals. I don't know which team because I haven't seen the paper yet.

"I want to arrange an extra lesson for Grant and several other coaches who missed the last session, and if he hands in his assignment he could have his licence within a couple of weeks."

Grant served as technical director at Fratton Park during the 2006/07 season before moving to Chelsea. He is a close friend of Gaydamak and would be the natural successor to Redknapp who has been linked to a return to West Ham.

Redknapp recently rubbished reports linking him as a replacement for Alan Curbishley.

But the enthusiasm with which he spoke this week of potentially managing Britain's 2012 Olympic team clearly shows that he is looking for a fresh challenge after transforming Pompey from a struggling Championship outfit to FA Cup holders.

For his part, Grant said earlier this month that he is eager to return to Premier League. "I have had offers from Spain, Holland and other countries," said the Israeli. "But I want to stay in England."

However, for the time being, Grant's family have returned to Israel. Tzofit Grant, his actress wife, said that their two teenage children would be starting school in Ramat Gan on Monday. "But we can always move them back to England if Avram gets a job there," she said.

    Last updated: 7:21pm, September 9 2008