However, the American pulled out at the eleventh hour after watching their latest defeat to Bournemouth.
Leicester have now finally found a replacement for Rodgers, though, in the former of ex-Aston Villa boss Smith, who has eight games to turn around the club’s woeful form and protect their Premier League status.
‘I’m really happy to have the opportunity to lead the team during these final weeks of the season,’ said Smith after his appointment was confirmed late on Monday evening.
‘The challenge in front of us is clear, but it’s one myself and my coaching team have experienced before and, with the quality in this squad and the number of games remaining, it’s very much achievable.
‘Our first job is to rebuild confidence and instil belief in the team and I’m looking forward to getting to work with the players this week.
‘Saturday will be a big test, but it’s the kind of occasion that reminds us all what it means to be a Premier League club, competing on the biggest stages against the best players in the world.
‘I know we’ll be well supported by our travelling fans. We have to connect with that and give them a performance they can be proud of. We go there positive, looking for points.’
Smith’s first match in charge could hardly be any more difficult, with the side travelling to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday afternoon to take on reigning champions Manchester City.
Chelsea legend Terry reunites with Smith – who he worked under at Villa – and joins the coaching team along with existing backroom members Adam Sadler and Mike Stowell.
Craig Shakespeare will be Smith’s assistant and returns to Leicester after six years, having previously been assistant to both Nigel Pearson and Claudio Ranieri before also having a stint as manager of the club himself.
Leicester chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha added: ‘On behalf of everyone at Leicester City, I’d like to offer Dean a warm welcome to the Football Club. His leadership, coaching and motivational qualities will be vital assets for us in the coming eight games as we fight to secure our Premier League status.’
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