Grant Reported to Mull Ukraine Move

Media outlets in Ukraine reported this week that former Chelsea manager Avram Grant may be signed to coach one of the leading teams in the country's top-tier league.

One journalist reported seeing Grant at last Wednesday's Champions League match between Dynamo Kiev and English powerhouse Arsenal. "I've always been impressed by the level of soccer in your country and the quality Ukrainian players have brought to soccer around the world," Grant was quoted as saying.

"I'd be happy to coach one of the clubs, and agents are already dealing with the matter," he reportedly added.

Grant has been rumored to be in talks with Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, which recently fired manager Oleg Protasov, a former star with the Soviet national team. Protasov was replaced by another former Soviet star, Vladimir Bessonov, on an interim basis. Dnipro is owned by Jewish-Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoysky.

Another possible destination may be Shakhtar Donetsk. Players and fans of the club have expressed dissatisfaction with the slow start it made to the season, but the club's owners appear reluctant to release coach Mircea Lucescu before the first round of the Champions League is complete.

None of the Ukrainian clubs responded to media attempts to verify whether they were indeed courting the Israeli.

Grant, 55, was born and raised in Petah Tikva. He coached a number of Israeli teams before being appointed national team coach in 2002, a post he held for four years before becoming director of football at English Premiership side Portsmouth, then making the leap to Stamford Bridge.

Grant is the only Israeli to coach an English Premier League team. After taking over from charismatic Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho in September last year, he led Chelsea to last season's Champions League final, where it drew with Manchester United 1-1 but lost 6-5 on penalties.

Three days later, Chelsea announced that the manager would be released.