Soccer: Avram Grant turns down Bulgaria bid

Former Chelsea manager Avram Grant has turned down an approach from Bulgaria's national team after failing to agree on a salary.

grant (photo credit: )
(photo credit: )
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) - Former Chelsea manager Avram Grant has turned down an approach from Bulgaria's national team after failing to agree on a salary. Bulgarian football association president Borislav Mihailov told bTV on Tuesday that he had several meetings with Grant about filling the team's vacant coaching job but that his appointment was unlikely because of salary demands. Mihailov said he has also met with former Georgia coach Klaus Toppmoeller, but without reaching an agreement. "We are still unable to meet their financial demands," Mihailov said. Bulgaria is looking to replace Plamen Markov, who was fired last month following a string of poor results. Grant was fired by Chelsea at the end of last season despite leading the team to the Champions League final, and has yet to return to coaching. In an interview with British tabloid News of the World on Sunday, Grant hit back at his predecessor at Chelsea, Jose Mourinho, who claimed the Israeli did "nothing" for Chelsea. Grant, who took over at Stamford Bridge when Mourinho quit after leading Chelsea to two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and two Carling Cups, stormed: "I respect everybody and people know that - but I don't understand why Jose keeps having a go at me. "I think Jose needs to respect the club, the players, the fans and especially respect what we did after he left. He's fought with Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger, Rafa Benitez and now me." The former Israel coach, 53, insisted he was left to pick up the pieces when Mourinho stormed out in 2007 - with demoralized Chelsea languishing in sixth spot in the Premier League. "He led Chelsea to two League titles but Ferguson and Wenger have done a lot more and don't behave like him. "What the fans need to remember is that Jose did not leave me a team that were champions, that was Manchester United and we were in sixth position after a very poor start to the season and disarray everywhere. He walked out a couple of days before an away match with United when Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard and Ricardo Carvalho were all out injured and I agreed to step in. Responding to Mourhino's claim that "I would have won it with Chelsea", Grant retorted, "I don't see how Jose can claim he would have won the Champions League if he'd still been in charge. "He was boss for more than three years and he didn't even make the Champions League final once. What stopped him? He had the biggest budget in the history of football, some of the best players and an owner that gave him everything. But he got beaten twice in the semis by teams with half the budget he had at his disposal." He went on: "Jose says that I did 'nothing' in the League. Perhaps his memory is failing him because my winning ratio of games was second to none. We won all the big games at home when I was in charge, beating Arsenal, United and Liverpool." Grant, who signed Nicolas Anelka, the Premier League's top scorer, for just £13million, makes no bones about wanting to return to coach in England's top flight. The bid from Bulgaria is just one of several lucrative offers Grant has received to manage in Europe, but he prefers to wait until the right job presents itself. "There are a few offers on the table but I want to work in England again and am prepared to wait until the right challenge comes up."