Venables confirms England talks

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Terry Venables has revealed he is in talks with England manager Steve McClaren about a return to the national set-up. But Venables, who guided England to the semi-finals of Euro 96, insists he is not looking to replace McClaren.

"I am not about to join England's staff as a way of getting Steve McClaren's job," said Venables. "I'm excited by the prospect of working with England again, although the deal has to be finalised. My potential role with Steve is very exciting. He is offering me the freedom to take on as much as I want. I will obviously be involved around the matches and checking on players and he has already given me areas of the team he thinks need looking at."

Venables was appointed England manager in 1994 and led them to the last four of Euro 96 on home soil, where they were defeated by Germany on spot-kicks.

Since then he has had a second spell with Crystal Palace as well as jobs with Leeds, Middlesbrough and the Australian national side.

Bolton's manager, Sam Allardyce, last night backed Venables' involvement, saying: "He has a wealth of experience and if he's got the appetite for it, it's a magnificent signing for Steve."

Allardyce dismissed speculation linking him with the vacant manager's job at Sunderland. He added: "My ambition now is to get Bolton back into Europe."

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