Football: No place for Howe in England set-up

Glenn Hoddle will today, it is understood, sever the last remaining link between the previous England management and his own when he informs Don Howe that his services as a coach are no longer required.

It will not be the first time that Hoddle has declined to find a place for Howe among his coaching staff, offering the 60-year-old former Arsenal man the position of scout when he took over at Chelsea three years ago. Howe described it as a "token job" and resigned.

One England stalwart who was voluntarily due to retire from international football - Stuart Pearce - has been persuaded by Hoddle to play on. The England coach asked Pearce to reconsider his decision and the 34-year- old Nottingham Forest left back has agreed. "I'm thrilled Stuart has changed his mind," said Hoddle, who, with with Graeme Le Saux still unavailable, is desperately short of quality left-backs.

Terry Venables has similarly been persuaded to make a quick return to football management. Portsmouth are about to announce that the former England coach will be their director of football. "After I sort a few things out, I am hoping it will go ahead," Venables said. "I think the move will be good for the club and good for me."

Lee Sharpe is hoping to revive his international career after agreeing a pounds 4m move to Leeds, thereby generating a huge profit for Manchester United, who bought the player cheaply from Torquay eight years ago. The signing takes Howard Wilkinson's expenditure on players this summer to pounds 8m.

In 18 months at Coventry, Ron Atkinson took his own outaly to twice that figure with the purchase of the Belgian international wing-back, Regis Genaux, for pounds 1m from Standard Liege.

Crystal Palace expect to complete the transfer of Simon Tracey from Sheffield United for pounds 550,000 while another goalkeeper, Peter Shilton, once of England, is, at the age of 46, on standby to play for West Ham against Arsenal in the Premiership next Saturday. West Ham's first-choice, Ludek Miklosko, has a finger injury.

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