Fabio Capello has no current plans to reconsider his decision to leave his post as England manager after next summer's European Championship in Poland and Ukraine, sources close to the Italian have confirmed, despite Sir Trevor Brooking's suggestion yesterday that the Football Association may yet ask him to remain in the job.
"Fabio's contract ends in the summer and the mindset is for change but you never say never," said the FA's director of football development. "It would be a nice problem, and one we have not had for 40 years, but let's worry about it when it happens. We are certainly hoping to do better this summer than we did in South Africa."
It has long been thought that Capello intends to retire when his £6m-a-year contract with the FA expires after next summer's finals, despite a number of high-profile jobs – most notably at the enormously wealthy Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala – being offered to the Italian during his spell in charge of the England team.
It is thought the 65-year-old Capello would look unfavourably on any late attempt to extend his reign after 18 months in which that possibility has not so much as been mentioned by the English game's power brokers.
Brooking's suggestion that, in the event that Capello does depart, his replacement would ideally be English can be taken as proof that, among the FA's kingmakers, there is a genuine appetite for change. The chairman, David Bernstein, is minded not to make a decision on a successor until after the finals – in order to avoid any unnecessary disruption – but, with just five weeks between the end of the Euros and England's first friendly of the new campaign, he is almost certain to have candidates in mind.
"If we could get someone homegrown it would send out the right message," said Brooking. "It would launch a new era and we do want a system where we have an English coach. But we don't want to lock it in. How many candidates are there? I am sure Harry Redknapp would be high in the betting but we will look at it on merit at the time."
England will today discover their opponents for the finals when the draw for the group stage is made at 5pm at the National Palace of Arts in Kiev. Capello's side have been placed in the second group of seeds, so they will face one of the hosts (Poland or Ukraine), or the holders Spain or the team Spain defeated in last summer's World Cup final, the Netherlands. Being drawn in Poland's group would minimise travelling time for England, having chosen Krakow as their base.
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