The England caretaker manager, Stuart Pearce, is preparing for the possibility he may be in charge of the national team for Euro 2012 and is speaking to Premier League managers about the fitness and form of players who are up for selection.
Pearce, 49, was placed in temporary charge of the team for a friendly against the Netherlands last month but since then he has continued to work on the principle that he could be required to lead the team in Poland and Ukraine. As yet there has been no contact made by the Football Association with Harry Redknapp, the favourite to get the job.
Letters have already gone out from the FA to a pool of around 70 English players, from established first-teamers to those who have only ever been named in provisional squads. The letters, sent by the FA's Club England department, have gone to every player who has been named in a provisional squad over the past 18 months. The letter has told the players that they are under consideration for the Euro 2012 squad and to be prepared to be part of the travelling party that will leave for Krakow around 5 June.
Pearce continues to scout on behalf of the senior team and he watched Chelsea's draw with Tottenham Hotspur. He continues to act as the de facto England manager, speaking to clubs about the fitness of players. He is also trying to get a handle on whether it would be feasible to take Rio Ferdinand and John Terry in the squad. Terry's court case for racial abuse of Ferdinand's brother Anton begins on 9 July, after the end of the tournament.
Already the England Under-21s manager and coach of Team GB at the London Olympics, Pearce would also expect to be part of a new manager's backroom staff, if one is appointed. Speaking at the Soccerex conference in Manchester yesterday, Pearce said that previous England managers had taken little interest in junior England teams.
He said: "I don't think that's been the case prior to now. My model, working from the Under-21s down, I would make it my business to know what was going on lower down the ages. You would like to think that the next man would know what is going on down to Under-16 level."
England play friendlies against Norway in Oslo on 26 May and against Belgium at Wembley a week later. The squad is likely to be named soon after the end of the domestic season with a training camp planned for Marbella soon after, although Pearce has hinted that the location may change.