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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Dec 11, 2007

Capello set for England talks

The Football Association are ready to make Fabio Capello the new England manager.

Confirmation of Jose Mourinho's withdrawal from the race to succeed Steve McClaren has paved the way for Capello to take the job, providing he backs up a publicly-stated desire to lead England back to the pinnacle of the international game in face-to-face meetings with FA chief executive Brian Barwick.

FABIO CAPELLO'S HONOURS

• Serie A: 1991-92, 1992-93, 1993-94, 1995-96 (AC Milan)
2000-01 (Roma)
2004-05, 2005-06 (Juventus, stripped of latter)

• La Liga: 1996-97; 2006-07
(Real Madrid)

• Champions League: 1994
(AC Milan 4-0 Barcelona)

• European Super Cup: 1994
(AC Milan 2-0 Arsenal)


While the pair, and FA director of football development Sir Trevor Brooking, have yet to meet, talks have taken place with Capello's advisors.

It is anticipated the 61-year-old will fly into London at some point within the next 48 hours and, although Martin O'Neill, Marcello Lippi and Jurgen Klinsmann continue to be discussed, it now appears inevitable Capello will get the job.

A veteran of nine title wins during an illustrious career which has encompassed spells at Juventus, AC Milan and Real Madrid, Capello certainly fits the 'world-class' tag Barwick insisted was the minimum criteria required to replace McClaren, who was axed in the wake of England's failure to reach Euro 2008.

Capello's name immediately cropped up once McClaren's dismissal was confirmed and, with FA insiders quickly stating the Italian's inability to speak English would not prevent him getting the job, was always one of the favourites.

Mourinho's knowledge of the English game - and popularity among the fans - would have made him a better bet but now that option has been ruled out, Capello has arguably the most impressive CV among the remaining plausible candidates, even though fellow countryman Marcello Lippi steered Italy to World Cup glory last summer.

Although Capello has been out of work since leaving Real Madrid in June, he is one of the most respected coaches in the game, allying a mental toughness which saw him axe - and then restore - David Beckham from the Spanish giants' starting line-up last term, with an indisputed capability of building successful teams.

It has already been suggested former Chelsea favourite Gianfranco Zola could be brought into his coaching team, a move that would win favour with English fans, as well as aiding Capello in his battle against the language barrier.

Former England skipper Alan Shearer and current under-21 coach Stuart Pearce may also be heavily involved if, as appears increasingly likely, Capello is installed.

Ironically, given the prominence Beckham played in his last job, Capello's first game in charge would be against Switzerland at Wembley on February 6, when the LA Galaxy midfielder is likely to win his 100th cap.

Pierfilippo Capello, son and adviser of Fabio Capello, has admitted he is waiting for a call from the FA.

He told Sky Sports: 'The England job is really special.

'When the FA wants to speak to you, you have to listen. No contact has been made yet, but we are waiting.'