From England's Three Lions to Munich's Lions for Sven?
TSV 1860 Munich's investor Hasan Ismaik looks to have had his special New Year's wish granted - former England coach Sven-Göran Eriksson is set to join the Bundesliga 2nd division club.
As advised last week, banker Hamada Iraki, a trusted advisor of Jordanian businessman Ismaik, was trying to act as a peace-maker to bring the two 'warring' fractions back to the negotiation table, in an attempt to find some common ground.
After hammering out a compromise deal deep into the early hours, President Dieter Schneider and his vice Otto Steiner spoke to the press at 3am this morning to reveal the 64-year-old Swede's is to take up a role at the club.
"It was a good night," said Steiner. "We've agreed that Sven-Göran Eriksson will join our coaching staff. Alexander Schmidt will remain as coach."
There has been much speculation linking Eriksson with the Lions since he attended three games in Berlin and Munich before the winter break.
Exact details of the experienced coach's role are still unclear but he is expected to start his job in "one to two weeks" after finalising the small-print with CEO Robert Schäfer.
Eriksson has lifted 17 major trophies as a manager, with a host of clubs in Sweden, Portugal and Italy. He was the first manager to win league-and-cup doubles in three different countries. He later took charge of national sides in England, Mexico and Ivory Coast, as well as coaching in the Premier League with Manchester City, before dropping down the divisions with Leicester City and Notts County.
He is perhaps best remembered for his spell as England coach. Eriksson turned around England's bid for 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification, including a memorable 5-1 rout of old foe Germany in 2001. Later the relationship turned a little sour, and the Swede often found himself in the headlines more for alleged off-the-pitch (s)exploits than for success with the 'Three Lions'.
Current 1860 'caretaker' manager Alexander Schmidt will stay at the club, working in tandem with Eriksson. "He's doing a super job," added Steiner, who is convinced that the duo can work together in harmony.
The Lions could propel themselves into a promotion play-off position with a decent run in the second half of the season. 1860 Munich sit in sixth, just five points from that prized spot, currently occupied by Kaiserslautern, who they meet in the first game after the winter break on February 4th at the Allianz Arena.