Villa boss O'Neill tops England shortlist

Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill tops the FA's shortlist should Steve McClaren fail to guide England to Euro2008.

The Sunday Mirror says qualification for the Euro 2008 Finals can keep the beleaguered McClaren in his job. If England fail they will turn to Aston Villa manager O'Neill.

The FA intend to avert a prolonged debate over McClaren's disastrous reign by seeking immediate permission from Villa to open talks with O'Neill.

Randy Lerner, Villa's American owner, does not want to lose his manager but has admitted he will not stand in O'Neill's way.

The FA has drawn up a short-list but they are resisting overseas candidates. The other two names in a list of three are Portsmouth's Harry Redknapp and Blackburn's Mark Hughes, the former Wales boss.

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