Speculation over head coach Francesco Guidolin's future at Swansea City can now be put to rest after confirmation he has agreed a new deal with the Swans. The vastly experienced Italian took over from interim boss Alan Curtis in mid-January, a month after the sacking of Garry Monk, and led the South Wales club out of the Premier League bottom three and away from relegation danger.
Despite helping Swansea to get over the 40-point barrier and climb from 18th to 11th in the table, questions over the 60-year-old's future had persisted as his contract was set to expire at the end of the season. Widespread press reports suggested former manager Brendan Rodgers was being targeted for a return to the Liberty Stadium four years after departing to succeed Kenny Dalglish at Liverpool, but Guidolin has now signed a two-year extension.
"I'm pleased to confirm that we have reached an agreement with Francesco on a new two-year contract,'' chairman Huw Jenkins told the club's official website. "Francesco fully deserves the chance to continue his good work into the new campaign. He was prepared to come into the club at such a difficult time and put himself in a pressure situation with the club fighting for survival.
"He has achieved the goal of securing top-flight football for this club with plenty to spare and has earned the right to start afresh next season. It's going to be another challenge for everyone, but we are looking forward to seeing how far he can take this squad of players over a full season.
"We are confident that he can carry on the good work at the end of this season into the new campaign. There has obviously been a lot of speculation over recent weeks about a possible change of manager, but the board has been impressed with the way he has quietly gone about the job of improving performances and results since January."
Guidolin, who formerly took charge of the likes of Udinese, Palermo, Monaco and Parma before embarking upon only his second managerial stint outside of Italy, has won seven of his 15 Premier League matches to date. Coaches Gabriele Ambrosetti and Diego Bortoluzzi have also been offered new terms.
Swansea host Manchester City on the final day of the season in what will be Manuel Pellegrini's final match in charge of the Citzens. Victory could see the 2013 League Cup winners finish as high as ninth, depending on how Chelsea and Stoke City end their respective campaigns. They are guaranteed to drop no lower than 13th.