Pearce lands England Under-21 post

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The Manchester City manager Stuart Pearce was last night confirmed as the new part-time coach of England Under-21s.

City have agreed to the Football Association's request to allow their manager to lead the Under-21s in the European Championships in the Netherlands in the summer, although they are said to be reluctant for Pearce to take charge of a friendly against Spain at Pride Park in February.

Pearce is convinced he can handle the dual workload and was at pains yesterday to highlight the benefits his appointment could deliver to the club.

Pearce said: "If you feel you can take on two responsibilities, you do it. If anything, doing the under-21 job enhanced Peter Taylor's ability to do his job at Crystal Palace. If you asked him whether it encroached on his club time, he would probably say no."

Liverpool last night confirmed they had received an approach about a possible takeover of the club from American tycoon George Gillett, as revealed in The Independent this week.

Liverpool issued a statement to the Stock Exchange under the Takeover Code rules about Gillett's interest. The club said the approach "may or may not lead to an offer" and "shareholders will be kept informed as appropriate".

Dubai International Capital is a rival consortium and is still the clear favourite to take over the club having already analysed Liverpool's financial books.