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The man to Pep up England?

Harry Redknapp is not a shoo-in for the England manager’s job. That’s the message the FA are sending out by drawing up a short-list of alternative candidates to the genial Tottenham manager.

One of the more intriguing options is the present Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola. While presiding over a glorious period of success for the world’s best football club, Guardiola has made it clear that he won’t be at the Nou Camp for ever.

The FA’s first step would be to sound out the proud Catalan to see if he would be interested in the England post. Logic suggests that if Guardiola leaves Barcelona it would have to be for a job outside of Spain.

Potentially a more suitable candidate is Guardiola’s rival at Real Madrid, Jose Mourinho. Mourinho’s side look likely to win the Spanish title this season, underlining the Special One’s management credentials after he won league championships in Portugal, England and Italy.

Mourinho’s impeccable understanding of the English game, the respect he engenders among English players and his undeniable charisma would make him a choice that might even persuade fans to forget Redknapp.

Whoever the successful candidate is, they may be tempted to start the job after the European Championship finals rather than risk beginning their reign with another high-profile flop at a major championship.

If that is the case, the ever-loyal caretaker Stuart Pearce is ready and willing to lead England at the Euros. "I am available for the summer, definitely," he said with undisguised eagerness. "If I'm needed, I will manage the country."

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