England Managerial Shortlist Set To Include Jose Mourinho And Pep Guardiola
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola and Real Madrid's Jose Mourinho are both on the FA's official shortlist for the England managerial role after Stuart Pearce's one-match stint against Holland on Wednesday night, according to reports.
But Harry Redknapp's impact at Tottenham Hotspur has marked him out as the four-man FA panel's priority, after Fabio Capello resigned following the decision to strip John Terry of the captaincy a month ago.
Both Spanish-based bosses boast more decorative CV's than that of the Spurs boss.
FA chairman Sir David Bernstein stressed at the press conference to announce Pearce as interim coach last month that he would not rule out appointing another foreign manager, despite much clamour for an Englishman to regain the role. The Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has also been sounded out, according to The Guardian.
England's exiled striker Michael Owen was puzzled at optimism after the Holland defeat:
Guardiola may leave Barcelona this season in order to undertake a fresh challenge after four successful seasons at the club, where the Catalan side have won three successive Primera Ligas and two European Cups. He operates on a rolling one-year contract, making his availability plausible.
Elsewhere in Spain, Mourinho's camp have briefed press outlets that he is eager to return to English football next season after becoming disenchanted with life in Spain. The Portuguese coach has endured difficulties with both Italian and Spanish press during his stints at Internazionale and in Madrid, in stark contrast to a very amiable relationship with the British press pack.
Despite off-pitch shenanigans, he still won the treble with Inter, including a second career European Cup, and in Spain defeated Barca in the Copa del Rey final last year, with los merengues currently 10 points ahead of them in the league table.
Redknapp is reluctant to disrupt what has been an auspicious campaign for Tottenham in order to take over the reins for the Three Lions at the European Championship. They are third in the Premier League and face Manchester United on Sunday, whilst still in the FA Cup. However Spurs have suffered a dip in form since Capello's resignation followed Redknapp's acquittal for tax evasion on the same day, winning just once in their last four matches.
Pearce, meanwhile, has been authorised to change Capello's schedule and warm-up programme despite his own candid assertion that he is not the long-term man for the role. He is keen to lead England into Poland and Ukraine for the Euros, before returning to manage the Under 21's and fulfil his role as Great Britain's coach at the Olympic games.