Shearer came close to shock return to management with Cardiff

 

Alan Shearer came close to making a remarkable return to management with Championship side Cardiff City, who held talks with the former England captain over the last two days.

The 40-year-old discussed a two-year deal with the Welsh team who were on the brink of appointing Watford's Malky Mackay before Shearer made his interest in the job known. Shearer's sole experience of management came in his short-lived caretaker role with Newcastle United that ended with their relegation in May 2009.

It is understood that Shearer's agent Simon Bayliff was in Cardiff last night negotiating a deal with the club's Malaysian owners. The former Newcastle coach Tommy Craig and Stuart Gray, who played with Shearer at Southampton, and later managed the club, were candidates to be his assistants.

Cardiff were taken over by Malaysian investors in May last year and are now under the chairmanship of investor Dato Chan Tien Ghee – known as "TG" – who sacked manager Dave Jones last month. The process of appointing a manager has been left to chief executive Gethin Jenkins and director Alan Whiteley who had previously been close to appointing Mackay, who impressed at Watford last season.

The club are again one of the favourites for promotion next season having finished fourth last season and any new manager is expected to be given around £20m for transfers and wages.

A Match of the Day pundit since his retirement from playing in 2006, Shearer has turned down a variety of jobs including the chance to be Steve McClaren's assistant when he became England manager in 2006. After the World Cup final last summer he was one of the English coaches suggested to be introduced to Fabio Capello's staff but declined the opportunity to be considered.

The on-loan Manchester City striker – and Cardiff-born crowd favourite – Craig Bellamy had been suggested as a successor to Jones but that always looked remote. Manchester City are resolved to sell the player now and there is little prospect of him returning on loan to Cardiff next season. Bellamy famously fell-out with Shearer when the two played together at Newcastle.

Cardiff are also backed by the billionaire Vincent Tan. There are bold plans for the club to tour the Far East this summer with the hope that the wealthy investors can ease them out of their financial difficulties. They faced two winding-up orders over unpaid tax last year under previous chairman Peter Ridsdale.

The move for Shearer might capture the imagination of Cardiff fans but was a risky choice. He was in charge of Newcastle for only eight games and while he inherited a beleaguered, poorly-motivated group of players, Shearer's team earned just five points from a possible 24. He was given special dispensation then to manage despite not having obtained his Uefa Pro License and as of last night it was not clear whether he had completed his qualification since.

Shearer was linked with the vacant Blackburn Rovers job when Sam Allardyce was sacked in December. His appetite for a career in management has often been questioned because of the comfortable role he fulfils alongside Gary Lineker and Alan Hansen – neither of whom have management ambitions – on Match of the Day. However, it has always been Shearer's intention to be a manager.

His appointment would have added to an interesting pool of managers in the Championship next season, including Allardyce at West Ham, McClaren at Nottingham Forest and Leicester City's Sven Goran Eriksson. Newly-relegated Birmingham City also likely to appoint a high-profile replacement for Alex McLeish. Cardiff reached the FA Cup final in 2008, losing 1-0 to Portsmouth and lost in the play-off finals last year. They were last in the top flight in 1962.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Rob Lowe
peopleRob Lowe hits out at Obama's snub of Benjamin Netanyahu
Sport
football
News
Davies (let) says: 'Everybody thought we were having an affair. It was never true!'
people'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Arts and Entertainment
Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
music
News
Staff assemble outside the old City Road offices in London
mediaThe stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century at Britain's youngest paper
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us