​Former Sweden international Henrik Larsson is close to being unveiled as the new manager of League One side Southend United, with Dirk Kuyt set to follow him as his assistant.

Southend find themselves labouring at the bottom of the division, and a miserable start to the campaign saw former boss Kevin Bond resign in early September.


Now, according to the ​Southend Echo, it is Larsson who is "in pole position" to assume the vacant role. The former ​Barcelona and Celtic forward has been spotted watching the club twice this season, and it now appears as though a deal to assume control is imminent.

Larsson walked away from former employers Helsingborg in August after being abused by fans on social media as a result of a poor run of form, so he is free to discuss a move to a new side.

The Swedish icon is keen to bring Kuyt with him. The ​Liverpool cult hero recently worked as the assistant manager of Dutch amateur side Quick Boys, and he even came out of retirement in April 2018 to help them deal with an injury crisis, before assuming control of Feyenoord's Under-19 side.

The pair now appear set to link up in Southend to try and save the Shrimpers from relegation to League Two.

Chairman Ron Martin recently ​revealed that they were not far from bringing in a new manager. He mentioned no names, but it is widely believed that Larsson is the man closest to taking the position.

He wrote: "Last week I commented a week is a long time in politics and in football too. That trend has continued with my shortlist becoming shorter… for a variety of reasons.

Dirk Kuyt

"Nevertheless, great progress (as it had to) has been made this week. Progress not simply in shortening the club’s list of targets but settling the choice AND all the principal terms too. Indeed, I believe there are no showstoppers enabling me to give you this positive news before the weekend.

"I am now targeting a press conference for Thursday and will confirm that when the ink is dry. I know it’s all been bad news on the pitch and my job is to ensure that changes. I shall always do my best to get this club back on track and can at least confirm the position off the pitch is looking great."

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