Phil Neville in the frame to take over as England women's coach

ENGLAND

Phil Neville in the frame to take over as England women's coach

Phil Neville.

Jason Cairnduff

REUTERS

The former Manchester United defender aroused suspicion by following a number of female England internationals on Twitter.

Former Manchester United and Everton defender Phil Neville is in the race to become the new permanent manager of England women’s national team.

The Football Association (FA) is looking for a full-time successor to Mark Sampson, who was sacked in September after being the subject of accusations of racism, harassment and bullying.

Mo Marley is serving as interim manager. According to Eurosport, she has also applied for the full-time job.

Neville a top candidate

Rumours of Neville taking over the Lionesses became public when England and Chelsea left-back Claire Rafferty mentioned the former Red Devil as potentially being in the running while speaking with BBC Radio 5.

Neville, who has already held coaching positions at Manchester United, Valencia and Salford City, also raised suspicions by following several England women’s players on Twitter, including Jill Scott and Steph Houghton, as well as the Lionesses’ official account.

Speaking to SoccerSaturdaySuper6 on Thursday, Neville said: "Management is something I do want to do, whether it's today, whether it's tomorrow or whether it's in six months or six years.

"It's something that I will have to do. I've had two great experiences as assistant manager at United and at Valencia, but now is the time where, for me, I want to be a manager and not a number two or an assistant."

Great ambitions for the Lionesses

On Wednesday, FA’s chief executive Martin Glenn, spoke to PressAssociationSport about the delay in appointing England women’s next full-time coach.

"We have got great ambitions for the women's team,” said Glenn.

"We believe we can win the World Cup so we have to get the right person with the right set of skills. We are lucky we have had a great interim in Mo Marley, so that has allowed us to spend that bit more time to make sure we are assessing all of the talent across the world."

The Lionesses are in the qualification process for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. England are second in their group, a point behind leaders Wales.

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