Forest may turn to McClaren

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Steve McClaren has been offered a possible route back into English football after Nottingham Forest identified him as their top target to replace Billy Davies.

The former England manager has been working overseas since his spell in charge of the national team ended in failure and ridicule. He looks set to return though, with Forest confirming they have opened talks with 50-year-old McClaren after sacking Davies, who had a year remaining on a three-and-a-half-year contract.

The club announced on their official website, "Nottingham Forest have announced this afternoon that they have terminated the contract of manager Billy Davies with immediate effect. They have also revealed that they are now talking to Steve McClaren about The City Ground vacancy."

Croatia's 3-2 victory on a wet night at Wembley on November 21 2007 scuppered England's hopes of qualifying for Euro 2008, and McClaren was sacked by the Football Association the following day.

He had been dubbed 'the wally with the brolly' after watching on from the sidelines with an FA umbrella as his England team suffered their costly defeat, and headed abroad for his next job.

McClaren was a huge success with FC Twente in Holland, guiding them to a second-placed finish in the Dutch Eredivisie in 2009 before leading the team to the title the following year. He departed to join German side Wolfsburg in May 2010 but struggled in the Bundesliga and was sacked in February of this year.

Former Preston and Derby boss Davies saw his Forest side slide to a 3-1 aggregate defeat to Swansea in the semi-finals of the npower Championship play-offs last month, having also lost to Blackpool at the same stage 12 months previously.

Forest now see McClaren as an ideal candidate to lead the club back to the Barclays Premier League. As assistant manager to Jim Smith, McClaren helped Derby reach the Premier League in 1996 and later went on to be Sir Alex Ferguson's number two at Manchester United.

McClaren left Old Trafford to join Middlesbrough in 2001, and guided the club to League Cup success in 2004 and to the UEFA Cup final in 2006, when they lost 4-0 to Sevilla. He had been assistant to Sven-Goran Eriksson with England while in charge at Middlesbrough, and succeeded the Swede after the 2006 World Cup.

McClaren was recently linked with the vacancy created at Aston Villa by Gerard Houllier's departure, and was also tipped to be appointed at West Ham before Sam Allardyce was handed that job.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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