Byline: MARTIN LIPTON
KEVIN KEEGAN will be told to decide this month if he really wants to be England manager after hints that he might be willing to extend his caretaker brief.
Senior Football Association figures believe Keegan can still be persuaded to answer the nation's long-term call, despite his initial claims that he would only take on the role until the summer, and plan to press the matter immediately after the game with Poland on March 27.
If Keegan's heart truly is at Fulham, the FA has targeted Blackburn's Brian Kidd as the next long-term coach although he could work alongside a managerial 'father-figure', allowing him to concentrate on the training ground.
Keegan's perceived inspirational qualities mean Fulham's chief operating officer remains the first choice as Glenn Hoddle's permanent successor, a conviction which intensified following Keegan's hints that he might be able to extend his stay.
Should he turn down a long-term position, the FA will be running out of time to find a new man for next season and the guillotine on talks will be introduced within weeks.
International committee chairman Noel White conceded: 'We can't envisage the part-time situation continuing. …