Avraham Grant returns to Israel with plans uncertain

'It was a nice experience, an extraordinary experience but I have nothing to say about Chelsea'

grant smiles 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
grant smiles 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
He may not be currently employed, but former Chelsea manager Avraham Grant was back in Israel on Monday, continuing his studies for the FIFA PRO coaching accredition two days after the London club showed him the door. Grant, who was fired Saturday after the club finished second in both the English Premier League and the European Champions League, refused to discuss his eight months at Stamford Bridge, or what he plans to do next. "It was a nice experience, an extraordinary experience but I have nothing to say about Chelsea," he said. "I want to talk about the positive things. There were a lot of positive things, but you put it behind you and move on." Rumors continue to circulate that the Israeli may replace Sven-Goran Eriksson as boss at Manchester City. The prospective move has caught the attention of the British press, with many columnists opining that it would be a good decision. Joe Lovejoy of London's Sunday Times claimed Grant's low-key personality would be a perfect fit for City. "[City owner Thaksin] Shinawatra and his associates have been impressed not only by Grant's results since replacing Jose Mourinho at Chelsea last September, but also by his quiet dignity," Lovejoy wrote. "He gets on with the job with minimal fuss, never speaking out and biting the hand that feeds him, just what the capricious Thai autocrat needs." Wherever he may go next, one bright spot in Grant's departure from Chelsea is his financial settlement with the club, which is reported to total £8 million according to the Times, a figure that includes his salary and a payoff of £5.2 m. Meanwhile, Grant said he is glad to be back in his homeland. "It's nice to go back to Israel, to see all of the Israelis," he told reporters after dozens of fans turned out to welcome him at Ben Gurion airport late Sunday night. "I love Israel alot. This really is a beautiful land. You saw the support of all of the Israelis. I don't know how to describe it. It moved me so much," Grant said. He noted that his "best experience" while working in London was seeing "the Israelis who came to my games." "It was very moving to see so many Israelis," he added.