Pearce 'lined up to take over' England Under-21s

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The Independent Football

Stuart Pearce is surprisingly being lined up to be the new manager of the England Under-21s, after Peter Taylor officially stepped down yesterday.

Reports last night claimed that Pearce will have a part-time role, as the Football Association bid to groom the Manchester City manager as the next senior coach to follow Steve McClaren's reign.

City are said to be angry that the FA are chasing Pearce, citing evidence that Taylor had to relinquish the position yesterday because he was unable to combine the role with his duties as Crystal Palace manager - the Eastlands hierarchy argue that if Taylor could not manage the task with a Championship club, there is no way Pearce will cope with a Premiership outfit.

Pearce is said to be keen on the position, however, and if he is formally offered the job, he is likely to name City assistant manager Steve Wigley as his coach.

The other candidate for the Under-21s role, Bolton Wanderers No2 Sammy Lee, has ruled himself out because he does not feel he can combine coaching Bolton with England duties.

The FA are said to want Pearce in place as soon as possible so he can plan for June's European Under-21 Championship finals in the Netherlands.

Pearce does not see that affecting his City responsibilities because he is likely to be scouting at the tournament in any case.

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