Steve McClaren is back in English football after agreeing a short-term deal, understood to stretch initially to three months, to join Harry Redknapp's coaching staff at Queens Park Rangers in the Championship.
The former England manager has been out of work since his second spell in charge of the Dutch club, FC Twente, was curtailed in February and will take up coaching duties at Loftus Road as the club seek a swift return to the top flight.
Redknapp is already working with his erstwhile assistant, Kevin Bond, and the first-team coach Joe Jordan, with Steve Cotterill having also coached within the set-up on a short-term basis since January. The former Cheltenham and Burnley manager left the club at the end of last season.
"I'm delighted to take up this position offered to me by Harry and QPR," said McClaren. "Whilst it still remains my ambition to manage again this gives me an ideal opportunity to stay involved and work on the field with one of the top managers in this country and a very ambitious club. Rest assured, I'll be doing all I can for Harry, the club and the fans to help QPR return to the Premier League."
McClaren's last post in the English game was at Nottingham Forest, where he spent only four months before resigning in October 2011. Having previously worked as Sir Alex Ferguson's No2 at Manchester United, he won the Carling Cup with Middlesbrough in 2004 and led the Teessiders to the Uefa Cup final two years later, while also assisting Sven Goran Eriksson in the England set-up. His appointment as senior manager was short-lived, however, as he was sacked following the failure to qualify for Euro 2008 though his first spell at Twente did yield a Dutch league title.
The 52-year-old still hopes to return to the national set-up in some capacity when the Football Association addresses how best to oversee the England Under-21 side later this summer. The Club England board are looking at the entire system and are open-minded in terms of the structure as they seek to replace Stuart Pearce, whose contract has not been renewed following the dismal performance at the European Championship in Israel last month. McClaren hopes to be considered for a role within the management team.
The QPR role offers him an immediate involvement on the coaching front. "I am delighted to have been able to bring Steve in," said Redknapp.
"Everyone in the game knows what a top coach he is and he'll add something different to the group, regardless of how long he is with us for. This is a very important season for us and I wanted to look at freshening up the whole place, not just the playing side. I want new ideas, different opinions and another experienced head to speak to. That's what Steve brings. Along with Kevin [Bond] and Joe [Jordan] I've got a brilliant backroom team and their input is going to be so important for me this season. Steve adds to the excellent staff I already have here."
The club's players returned for pre-season training on Monday with the likes of Loïc Rémy, Stéphane Mbia, Joey Barton and Esteban Granero – many of whom might have been expected to leave at the end of last season – all involved.
Barton still aspires to join Marseille on a permanent basis, while Christopher Samba is set to return to the Russian club, Anzhi Makhachkala, in a £12m deal just six months after moving to the west London side for a similar fee. He is expected to sign a four-year contract with Guus Hiddink's team.