Guus Hiddink's 'personal relationship' with John Terry could scupper England chances says agent

 

Guus Hiddink's "strong personal relationship" with ousted captain John Terry could rule him out of contention to be the next England manager.

The Dutchman has emerged as the most realistic foreign contender for the England job, which became vacant on Wednesday when Fabio Capello resigned over the Football Association board's decision to strip Terry of the captaincy while he fights a charge of racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.

Hiddink worked closely with Terry during a short but successful spell with Chelsea in the second half of the 2008-09 season which culminated in the Blues winning the FA Cup, and his agent Cees van Nieuwenhuizen told the Daily Telegraph that could be a stumbling block to his appointment.

"I don't, based on previous conversations with England FA board members, imagine that it would work," he said.

"Guus also has a very strong personal relationship with John Terry and would be on his side in all this."

Van Nieuwenhuizen also indicated his client would not be interested in taking on the role just for Euro 2012.

"He's not done that in the past and had always previously also been involved in qualification," he added.

Hiddink led Holland to the semi-finals of the 1998 World Cup and took 2002 co-hosts South Korea to the semi-finals, although his most recent posting as Turkey coach ended in failure to qualify for Euro 2012.

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp is the overwhelming bookmakers' favourite to succeed Capello, and while Spurs forward Jermain Defoe admits Redknapp would be a popular choice, he would be sad to see him leave White Hart Lane.

Defoe told BBC Sport: "Everyone wants Harry to be the next England manager.

"He'll never turn round and say 'no I don't want the job', because it's such a big job. We don't want Harry to leave because of what he's achieved."

Redknapp steered Spurs clear of relegation trouble after taking charge in October 2008 and has since led the team to last season's Champions League quarter-finals and are a good bet to qualify for Europe's premier club competition again at the end of this season.

Redknapp's former chairman at Portsmouth, Milan Mandaric, has also backed the Spurs boss' claims for the England job.

Mandaric and Redknapp were both cleared of tax evasion charges relating to their time at Portsmouth on Wednesday, the same day Capello resigned as England manager.

The Serbian told Sky Sports News: "I don't think there is a better man than Harry Redknapp to take over England.

"I possibly shouldn't say that because it is not my job to talk about managers who are employees and are very happy with their job.

"I want England to be successful because I am a big part of English football."

Redknapp's son Jamie, now a pundit for Sky Sports, admits it has been a turbulent week for the family but prefers the speculation surrounding the England job to the stress which came with the court case at Southwark Crown Court.

"My family has gone from one storm to another, but I prefer this storm," he wrote in the Daily Mail.

"My dad has been ill worrying about his case. He has been anxious and angry. Worrying about my mum, who is a gentle and soft person. Worrying about what would happen to her if he ended up with a guilty verdict.

"I don't want to sound selfish, but whatever my dad ends up doing, he has to do what is best for him. I'm sorry if that sounds harsh, it's not meant to, but, after what he has been through for the last five years, it has to be his choice."

The four-man Club England board will sit down later today to begin the process of selecting Capello's successor adamant they will not be railroaded into appointing Redknapp.

Overwhelming favourite for the job, it is thought Redknapp could be prised away from White Hart Lane, if not immediately, then at the end of the season.

Redknapp is due to attend a press conference himself this morning to preview tomorrow's home encounter with Newcastle.

Even though the 64-year-old ticks all the right boxes, FA general secretary Alex Horne is keen to ensure the correct procedures are followed before Capello's replacement is named, no matter how obvious the claims of one man.

"We understand the feeling of the nation and supporters," said Horne.

"Fans of England are very important when it comes to choosing the right person for the job.

"But we have to sit down and look long term. We owe it to ourselves to write up the job brief and make sure we sit down calmly and ensure we have an exhaustive list."

Horne will be joined in his quest by FA chairman David Bernstein, Club England managing director Adrian Bevington and FA director of football development Sir Trevor Brooking.

And the brief will involve far more than just managing a football team.

It is anticipated the successful candidate will pay more than lip service to the National Football Centre in Burton, providing a lead to the numerous coaches and youth teams that will be based there.

And whilst non-English candidates will be considered, they will need to have a better grasp of the language than Capello mastered in his four years at the helm.

Former England captain Alan Shearer insists the FA should "move heaven and earth" to secure Redknapp.

"I think he is made for it," Shearer told the BBC's Football Focus programme.

"He understands players and players understand him. That is a perfect mix. I'd move heaven and earth to get him."

Shearer backed the FA's decision to strip Terry of the captaincy, but could understand Capello's frustration that the decision had been taken without his approval.

"Having been England captain, particularly leading up to the tournament, you are asked to do all sorts with the media," he said.

"It would have been hard for John Terry to do that without people asking millions of questions."

The chairman of the Professional Footballers Association, Northampton defender Clarke Carlisle, has compared the FA to FIFA and has called for it to become more transparent.

He told LBC: "The FA is an organisation that's been in turmoil for a decade.

"The hope is that Mr Bernstein can bring a strong leadership to it, but it's very closed and it almost reflects what we were asking of FIFA...all the decisions are made within the organisation about our national game that affects millions upon millions of lives but there's no inclusion, there's no interaction, there's no transparency and because of that you are seeing here lots of speculation and conjecture about what goes on behind those doors."

PA

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