THE rumour merchants are at it again with the prospect of some high profile managers leaving their posts in the closed season.

If Arsene Wenger, Jose Mourinho and Rafael Benitez are not still at their clubs next season, the question being asked is where are the up-and-coming English managers to take their places.

At one time, the bright young English manager was Alan Curbishley who was mentioned in connection with the England job. But, unfortunately, it has gone dramatically wrong for him at West Ham after years of success at Charlton Athletic.

I had the privilege of attending a coaches and managers session with Steve McClaren two weeks ago. It was a terrific turn-out of the young and old, with people like David Pleat, Graeme Souness and Graham Taylor alongside a stack of young coaches learning their trade under managers at league clubs.

We all identify with Steve McClaren - he has come up along a hard road to be the England manager.

He talked about the time he was at Oxford United as youth team coach. He used to drive the minibus and had to change a wheel on the side of the motorway on the way to a game.

He has taken every course, gained experience and gone to listen to managers and watch coaches work abroad to the extent that all that hard work has taken him from Oxford's youth team to the pinnacle of English coaching.

Wherever he has gone, he has been very highly respected. We all want him to succeed because it sets a standard for young coaches in the game to emulate.

But what chance has he got with England?

There can be no doubt that the international side is secondary to club teams. If you take his build-up to the next round of European Championship matches, Chelsea and Manchester United both have FA Cup replays in the week leading up to that big game.

He does not get the players often enough - we don't think the England set-up is that important until we have actually got a game and then, when things go wrong, we moan about everything and everybody.

Steve McClaren is just following a number of managers in that position who have failed to produce success for the country and it is not the manager's fault.

Sessions like the one with Steve might well become a regular feature on the Football League Managers' Association agenda and can only help in the education of younger coaches.

But the probability is that Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool, if they are looking for successors to the current incumbents, will look abroad.