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Speed of Clement’s Swansea switch a surprise says Ancelotti

Swansea City's new English head coach Paul Clement checks out the conditions ahead of the English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and Swansea City at Selhurst Park in south London on January 3, 2017. Paul Clement became Premier League bottom side Swansea's third manager this season when he was appointed on Tuesday, January 3, 2017. Clement, whose only previous job as a manager was with second tier Derby, will attend Tuesday's relegation clash with Crystal Palace but watch from the stands as first team coach Alan Curtis will take charge. / AFP PHOTO / Ian KINGTON /

Swansea City’s new English head coach Paul Clement checks out the conditions ahead of the English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and Swansea City at Selhurst Park in south London on January 3, 2017. Paul Clement became Premier League bottom side Swansea’s third manager this season when he was appointed on Tuesday, January 3, 2017. Clement, whose only previous job as a manager was with second tier Derby, will attend Tuesday’s relegation clash with Crystal Palace but watch from the stands as first team coach Alan Curtis will take charge. / AFP PHOTO / Ian KINGTON /

Bayern Munich coach Carlo Ancelotti said on Wednesday that the speed of former assistant Paul Clement’s appointment as Swansea boss took the Bundesliga champions by surprise.

However Ancelotti, in his first public comments since Clement’s departure, said the Englishman takes up the Premier League post with his blessing.

“It was a surprise because everything happened on the last day of the year,” said Ancelotti during a press conference in Doha, where the Germans are holding a winter training camp.

“He had an offer from Swansea, decided to come back to England and I wish him good luck because he was a really good assistant, he’s a good friend, but we don’t have a problem.

“I think he has a lot of motivation because he wanted to come back to England, to be a manager in the Premier League.

“He has this opportunity, he started really well last night, winning against Crystal Palace, and I hope he’s going to do a great job at Swansea.”

Clement, who worked with Ancelotti at Chelsea, Paris Saint Germain, Real Madrid and Bayern, was appointed Swansea coach on Tuesday and hours later saw the relegation-threatened Swans beat Crystal Palace away to move off the foot of the Premier League.

Clement, 44, was sacked as manager of Derby County last February despite the club being fifth in the Championship, the second tier of English football.

Former Bayern coach Hermann Gerland has reportedly taken over Clement’s post at the German giants.

With the winter transfer window now open Ancelotti said that he was willing to allow defender Holger Badstuber to go out on loan.

The 27-year-old has been linked with a move to Manchester City, managed by former Bayern coach Pep Guardiola.

“We are open,” said Ancelotti. “If he decides to stay we are happy that he stays here, if he decided to leave to play for six months in another club, we are also open about this.”

But he was more forthright on rumours linking Arturo Vidal to Premier League leaders Chelsea.

“Absolute rubbish,” said the Italian.

Bayern will play Belgian side KAS Eupen in a friendly in Doha and return to Bundesliga action on January 20 against Freiburg.




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