McClaren in talks over England Under-21 post

Former England manager Steve McClaren has held talks over becoming the new boss of the national team’s Under-21 side, the Daily Telegraph has reported.

McClaren is competing with former Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate – who succeeded McClaren on Teeside – and ex-Manchester United coach Rene Meuelensteen. Meulensteen was briefly manager of Anzhi Makhachkala but left the Russian club when the owner withdrew funding. Michael Appleton, who worked with senior team manager Roy Hodgson and director of elite development Dan Ashworth, is also in contention.

But McClaren is said to have impressed the Football Association hierarchy during a meeting on Wednesday, according to the newspaper. That is despite having been sacked as England manager in 2007 after England failed to qualify for the following year’s European Championships.

Since leaving the national team McClaren has won the Dutch title with FC Twente and had brief spells in charge of Wolfsburg in Germany and Nottingham Forest, and recently returned to English football as part of Harry Redknapp’s coaching staff at Queens Park Rangers.

The new manager of the England Under-21s will also have responsibility for the lower age groups, down to Under-16 level, as the FA seek to revamp the structure of the youth sides and promote closer ties with senior level. Southgate, the favourite for the post, has already been interviewed.

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