Crawley chief denies Kewell has been poached by Charlton

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Crawley Town insist there has been no formal approach for Harry Kewell, amid heated speculation he is set to be appointed as coach of Charlton Athletic by the Australian investors poised to take over the League One club.

Reports have indicated that the Socceroos legend is on the brink of stepping in to replace the departed Karl Robinson at the Addicks, currently under the helm of caretaker coach Lee Bowyer.

But League Two Crawley’s football director Selim Gaygusuz maintained that Kewell, who has a three-year contract, remains in charge - at least for the time being.

Gaygusuz acknowledged that should the investors - including Essendon board member Andrew Muir and sports consultant Gerard Murphy - be successful with their $80 million bid, Kewell would be a natural target.

But he is mystified by reports claiming that his exit is a fait accompli.

“I’m not sure where all this is coming from, and if there was to be an approach I’d be the first person to be made aware of that,” he said.

“We have a game on Good Friday and on Monday and if there had been contact regarding Harry I certainly wouldn’t hide from that.

“As far as I’m concerned we’re still in process of talking with Harry about players for next season.

“Of course there will be talk because Harry has done a good for us in his first season here.

“And it’s natural there would be interest in him, especially from an Australian consortium.”

Gaygusuz wants Kewell to stay and lead Crawley to promotion, most realistically next season.

He sees him as a Premier League coach in the making.

“We want build on what he’s achieved already and work our way up together,” he added.

“I know the success he could bring for us and some of the claims on Twitter about him already saying goodbye to the players is the stuff of fairytales.

“There are a lot of fake reports out there. I have good contacts at Charlton and a good relationship with them and we took one of their players on loan in January.”

Belgian billionaire Roland Duchatelet, has been looking to sell the Addicks for some time, and Robinson was sacked last week with Bowyer, a former teammate of Kewell’s at Leeds, appointed as caretaker.

The Australian consortium's website claims it is seeking to create "Australia's First English Premier League Club", with one-time EPL outfit Charlton seen as the vehicle to drive that ambition.

If Kewell was to go, Crawley would demand significant compensation from the south-east London club.

“He has his long contract with us, but if he said he wanted to go there would be contract talks to be made,” added Gaygusuz.

“Personally I would like to see him stay with us. We know how special he is and we had his contract situation with us covered from day one.

“Hopefully he stays, but this is football and when you do really well you go higher.”