Fabio Capello is expected to fly to London today to meet the Football Association’s chief executive, Brian Barwick to discuss the possibility of becoming the next England manager.
Capello has emerged as the favourite to succeed Steve McClaren following the announcement by Jose Mourinho that he was not interesetd in the post.
As Barwick and Capello prepared for a meeting, Arsène Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson yesterday backed the appointment of one of Europe’s most successful coaches.
Wenger, the Arsenal manager, said of Capello: “I have known Fabio for a long time and the quality of the candidate is outstanding. The only problem I think he could have is with the language – I do not know how good his English is – because a big part of the job is to deal with the media; maybe a massive part.
“However, he can deal with the media pressure as he done that before. He was at Real Madrid and in Italy as well where there is big media pressure in the big clubs. As for the technical part, you do not have to worry about him.”
Ferguson was another to back the appointment of Capello.
“In a perfect situation, you would get someone from England, that would be good, everyone in England would prefer it,” said Ferguson.
“But the most important criteria is to find a manager who is going to be successful and the choices in England are very limited.
“To manage a national team my belief is that you need to be of a certain age and have plenty of experience, you need presence and a CV that’s indisputable – and Capello has all that.”
The appointment would have to be approved by the FA’s board, whose next scheduled meeting is tomorrow week.
Barwick will want to hear Capello’s plans for the role and details of any backroom staff he would like to employ. An English assistant is understood to be favoured and reports have linked Stuart Pearce and Alan Shearer with the role, although no candidates have been formally discussed.
Capello, who was sacked by Real Madrid despite guiding them to La Liga title, has won nine league titles in 16 years as a coach, picking up silverware with all four clubs he has taken coached
He won the Champions League with Milan in 1994 and won 32 caps as a midfielder for the national team.