FA HQ, London - ('Ere we go 'ere we go 'ere we go Mess): Last spotted in October at the head of a Northern Crock queue with a pair of enormous suitcases and several burly minders, former Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho is sitting pretty at his Belgravia house today as successive FA delegations plead for an audience with the Special One.
"You can forget second-division wannabes like Martin O'Neill, Fabio Capello, Luiz Felipe Scolari and Guus Hiddink," an FA spokesman said today, "it's Mourinho they're desperate to sign up."
Mourinho has played the 4-4-2 formation waiting game with all the inscrutable dead-pan of a grand master.
He's been out of work since getting booted out of Chelsea following a tiff with Roman Abramovich over bonus schemes involving offshore natural gas options.
Meanwhile internet spread-betting index Aintgottaprayer.com has made the Portuguese coach 11/10FAV for the England job and is quoting 5/4 for a two-year contract at £100,000 per week, 6/4 for 20% bonuses for each England win and a wing of Windsor Castle if England secures victory in the 2008 World Cup.
"Football neads a man with balls," FA chief executive Brian Barwick said today, "as opposed to a load of old bollox."