Southend United's move to appoint Henrik Larsson as new manager collapses

Celtic legend Henrik Larsson will not become the new manager of Southend United after talks dramatically broke down at the final hurdle.

The Shrimpers were hoping to appoint Larsson as manager, along with former Celtic teammates Johan Mjällby and Tommy Johnson who would have been assistant manager and head of recruitment respectively.

However, the move was called off on Tuesday afternoon after Johnson opted to accept another job offer instead.

Southend chairman Ron Martin said all three had been set to sign contracts at Roots Hall later this week before Johnson's last minute change of heart.

Larsson had watched the Shrimpers play twice in recent weeks and it would have been his first job in England.

The Shrimpers are second from bottom in League One and have been looking for a new boss since Kevin Bond resigned in early September.

Southend are second from bottom in League One. Credit: PA

"It was critical to the club that we had an individual, as part of that threesome, who was not only well known to Henrik and Johan but completely familiar with the English Leagues. Including all the players from not just League One but The Championship and League Two also," Martin said.

"As a consequence of Tommy Johnson withdrawing, all discussions with Henrik Larsson and Johan Mjällby have, unfortunately, come to an end too.

"I have said previous that a week is a long time in Politics and, thanks to Tommy Johnson, 24 hours has proved a very long time in football.

"The club had identified other individuals in the run up to agreeing terms with Henrik Larsson & his proposed colleagues. Those parties remain on our radar and we will resurrect those discussions with every intention of appointing a permanent manager as soon as practically possible."