Football: Kidd targets McClair as No 2

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The Independent Online
BRIAN KIDD wants his old Manchester United colleague Brian McClair to be his assistant at Blackburn Rovers. Kidd spoke to McClair yesterday about the post and will ask Motherwell for permission to take their club captain as his No 2.

While McClair has told friends that he is not ready for a senior first- team coaching job at Old Trafford, he could fit in perfectly at Ewood Park. McClair was so popular at United that he used to negotiate contracts for the young players with the manager, Alex Ferguson.

As Kidd looks to strengthen his new playing staff, Manchester United's England defender Phil Neville appeared to occupy the top of his wish list.

Kidd is planning to return to Old Trafford for the young defender who has lost his place for club and country recently. Rovers' owner, Jack Walker, is willing to pay out around pounds 7m to sign Neville.

Kidd and Blackburn will be watching developments at United next week before making an official offer, and should United go out of the Champions' League on Wednesday the time will be right to pounce.

Kidd will also use his overseas contacts to find talent and is interested in the Italian market, where he is well connected. Internazionale's right- winger Francesco Moriero, linked with Middlesbrough, is one player he would like to buy.

McClair's principal rival for the Rovers post appears to be a close friend of Kidd, Willie Donachie. However, the Manchester City manager, Joe Royle, is determined that Donachie will remain at Maine Road. Royle said: "Willie is Manchester City through and through. He is one of the main reasons I came to the club and I sincerely hope he won't leave."

Kidd wants new staff at Blackburn but two of the current team are known to him. The coach, Terry Darracott, is an old friend while the goalkeeping trainer, Roy Tunks, was at Preston when he was manager.

The Manchester United reserve team coach, Jim Ryan, has temporarily stepped into the void left by Kidd's departure. Ryan will be alongside Ferguson for today's Premiership game at Aston Villa.