Sir Trevor Brooking, a key figure in the Football Association's recruitment of the new England manager, would not allow any personal issues to affect his judgement as to whether Harry Redknapp is a suitable candidate for the role, it is understood.
Brooking has made it clear to his fellow Club England directors, who are charged with finding Fabio Capello's successor, that he has no problem with any of the candidates on the list, which include Redknapp. The FA director of football development is understood to have a difficult relationship with Redknapp despite their shared connection with West Ham. The rift is understood to date back to 1994, when Redknapp replaced Billy Bonds as West Ham manager, of which Brooking did not approve. While the roots of the situation between the two men have never been entirely clear, it is understood that it is not a deal-breaker when it comes to the FA examining Redknapp's suitability as England manager over the next few days.
Brooking is the only former professional footballer among the four men on the Club England board and his opinion will be crucial.
The FA general secretary Alex Horne said yesterday that the governing body would make a decision on the new manager by the "back end of the season". The chosen man would take over immediately after the end of the domestic season on 13 May, when the final round of Premier League games are played. The FA Cup final is eight days earlier.
The FA do not intend to leave the initial approach and subsequent negotiations with their first-choice candidate until after 13 May, as has been suggested in some reports.
The provisional squad for the Euro 2012 tournament would have to be named within days of the season's end and the squad are due to go to Spain soon after that for warm-weather training. Brooking had told The Independent on Wednesday that a new manager could be "parachuted in a few days before" the start of the tournament. This is understood to mean a deal to appoint him would already have been completed.
Horne, attending the International FA Board meeting yesterday in Surrey, said: "We've got a list. Long, short ... there's definitely a list. It's a back-end-of-the-season decision for us. We recognise that a lot of the managers on the list are employed and we don't want to interrupt anyone's season."