Benfica silent, but Queiroz announcement edges nearer

May 19, 2006

Benfica have refused to discuss reports that Manchester United assistant manager Carlos Queiroz is set to take over as coach.

Portuguese Queiroz has been strongly linked with the club as the successor to Ronald Koeman, who announced his departure from Benfica last week and will coach PSV Eindhoven next season.

Former Real Madrid boss Queiroz reportedly underwent talks with Benfica executives yesterday although neither the club nor the coach have confirmed this.

A club spokesperson said: 'At this time there is nothing new regarding the new coach.

'As soon as there is something concrete we will announce it.'

Queiroz, who is under contract with the Premiership giants, has admitted it would be difficult for him to leave Manchester this summer although he is flattered by Benfica's interest.

'Benfica is a fantastic institution that has a lot of prestige,' Queiroz said in an interview to RTP-N.

'But at this point it's difficult for me to decline the responsibilities that I have with the club I currently work for.

'I have obligations at this time and in the near future with Manchester.'

When asked whether he will coach Manchester United in the future he said: 'Only time will tell.

'We are working towards helping the club return to be a dominating force as it was in the past and it will depend on the results we achieve.

'Manchester United is now a much different club.

'Two years ago it was quoted in the stock exchange but today the club is private and therefore none of the decisions are debated with the management.

'What the owners of the club will decide from now and in two years' time is difficult to guess.'