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By ESPN Staff

Boro step up moves for new Riverside boss

Terry Venables has admitted he is flattered by Middlesbrough's interest in taking him back to the Riverside Stadium.

The 63-year-old former England boss has held talks with Boro chairman Steve Gibson and chief executive Keith Lamb over the vacant manager's job, and has reportedly been offered a contract.

However, Venables admits while he is tempted, he has a lot of thinking to do before giving his answer.

'It's extremely flattering to be offered this opportunity,' he told the News of the World.

'A lot excites me about going back. But I'm 63 now and must think if I'm prepared to commit myself full-time to Premiership football.'

Gibson and Lamb turned to Venables as they looked for the man to replace England's new head coach Steve McClaren.

They have also spoken to Martin O'Neill and Alan Curbishley, while Tony Mowbray and Sam Allardyce, among others, have been linked with the Teessiders.

However, it emerged almost a fortnight ago that Venables was high on the list after helping to save the club from relegation at the end of the 2000-01 season.

Boro won seven and drew 10 of the 22 Premiership games they played after then manager Bryan Robson had drafted in Venables.

Gibson desperately tried to persuade Venables to stay on then, but after he declined, opted to hand McClaren his big break in football management.

At the time, Venables cited his television and business commitments as reasons for not taking the job, and they remain considerations.

Gibson and Lamb spent last week in the Far East and have vowed to step up their search after returning at the weekend, although Venables' answer will have a major bearing on their next move.