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By ESPN Staff

Barnes to return to England as boss of Tranmere

John Barnes is poised to return to English football as manager of League One side Tranmere, according to the Jamaica Football Federation.

The former Watford and Liverpool winger, capped 79 times by England, has stepped down from his role as Jamaica coach in order to succeed Ronnie Moore, who was sacked by Tranmere at the end of last season.

The Jamaica Football Federation vehemently denied reports Barnes had been sacked and revealed he had notified them of his decision to step down in order to take charge at Prenton Park.

Barnes, 45, was appointed as coach of the Reggae Boyz in September last year.

A JFF statement explained: ''His contract was due to expire on June 30, 2009. Barnes secured a contract with Tranmere Rovers in England for the upcoming English football season and advised the JFF of that development last Sunday morning.

''With Barnes securing a job prior to the Gold Cup, the JFF decided in the long-term interest of the game not to offer him a short-term extension, but to appoint Theodore Whitmore as national coach for the remainder of the life of this administration.''

The decision to replace Barnes with Whitmore, Jamaica's coach during the final three World Cup qualifiers last year, was confirmed following an emergency meeting of JFF directors.

Jamaican-born Barnes began his playing career with Watford in 1981 and made his debut for the Hornets aged 17 before then Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish paid £900,000 to take him to Anfield in the summer of 1987.

Barnes quickly cemented his place as one of Liverpool's outstanding players, playing alongside the likes of Ian Rush, Peter Beardsley and John Aldridge.

He had a brief spell at Newcastle where he teamed up with Dalglish again, and finished his playing career at Charlton.

Barnes also bossed Celtic, working in tandem with director of football Dalglish at Parkhead, but the partnership proved unsuccessful and he was sacked after seven months.

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