The Football Association has revealed it hopes to appoint a young English coach to work under Fabio Capello by the end of next month.
The FA promised to introduce more of a homegrown influence in the England set-up in the wake of the country's humiliating World Cup exit. The plan is for the coach to be groomed as a potential national team manager of the future, with FA director of football development Sir Trevor Brooking heavily involved in the appointment.
FA general secretary Alex Horne said: "It's something which I spoke to Trevor about just before Christmas. I would expect by the end of February to have a name.''
Alan Shearer has previously been linked with the role and Horne said: "I've got a preferred candidate but I'm not going to give you a name. I envisage it will be a part-time contractual arrangement.''
He added: "What I'm working on with Trevor is the job description to make sure we understand it, so that it's right. I think there are a number of things that somebody could help us with around the international set-up.''
England Under-21 boss Stuart Pearce and Ray Clemence, the goalkeeping coach, are already part of Capello's backroom team.
Horne said: "It's an environment where a young coach can come in and learn from Fabio, but also learn from the experiences of Stuart, (Under-17 manager) John Peacock and the other national coaches that we've got. I'm speccing out a role, which is one of the reasons why it's been delayed.''
Meanwhile, Horne said Pearce is the "logical choice'' to manage Great Britain's football team at the 2012 Olympics. Horne dropped a huge hint England Under-21 boss Pearce would be asked to lead Britain's bid to win gold at the London Games. He also revealed the FA, who have been given responsibility for Team GB by the British Olympic Association, plan to appoint a manager at the end of the season.
Confirming the British side would essentially replace the England Under-21 team in the year leading up to the Games, Horne admitted that made Pearce an ideal candidate to take charge.
"It would be very logical,'' he said. "I suspect that what we will have to do is to substitute out the England Under-21 fixtures for this team - this hybrid team, assuming it has alternative players in it.''
Indeed, the FA's biggest problem will be convincing the other home nations to soften their stance on the squad being made up exclusively of English players. The governing bodies of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have all been vehemently opposed to players from their countries being picked, claiming it could threaten their status as individual nations within FIFA.
Horne said: "The current arrangement is that it would be an English team representing the British Isles. The BOA have said that is not acceptable as it stands because it is prejudicial, so we are working through an alternative selection process.''
He added: "My agenda for the next three months or so includes serious conversations with the other home nations about the Olympic team, because we need to get that right. We are all aware there are individual player issues. There are home nation sensitivities. So we need to work that through with the other home nations.''