Southgate the favourite with McClaren out of England Under-21 running

Former England manager Steve McClaren his ruled himself out of the running to become the new boss of the U-21s, leaving Gareth Southgate the clear favourite to take over, the Daily Mirror has reported.

After Stuart Pearce was sacked following a very disappointing European Championships in June, where the U-21s lost all three group matches, McClaren had emerged as a strong contender to replace him, despite his unsuccessful spell as manager of the senior side.

The former Middlesbrough boss oversaw England’s failure to reach Euro 2008, and was immediately sacked. He has subsequently experienced mixed fortunes, guiding FC Twente to the Dutch title in 2010, and going on to have brief and unsuccessful spells at Wolfsburg, Nottingham Forest, and Twente once more.

Despite rumours linking former Manchester United first team coach Rene Muelensteen with the job, Southgate, who succeeded McClaren at Middlesbrough in 2006 before being sacked in 2009, now looks set to be offered a two-year contract by the FA.

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