Stuart Pearce during his time as the coach of England's under-21s.
Stuart Pearce during his time as the coach of England's under-21s. Anders Brohus

Big names linked with Adelaide United coaching job

ENGLAND legend Stuart Pearce is the latest high-profile coaching option for Adelaide United.

While United still hopes to capture superstar Gabriel Batistuta as its new boss, Pearce has been presented to the Reds football department as a potential coach should the Argentine superstar go cold on the prospect of coaching for the first time.

It's understood negotiations for Batistuta are still on track for Adelaide but the club has still been inundated with a list of coaching options for the new season.

Batistuta and Pearce aren't the only big names mentioned as possible leaders at Adelaide.

Former Real Madrid superstar Fernando Morientes, a former Spain international teammate of current Adelaide boss Guillermo Amor, is, according to sources, also contemplating the possibility of managing the Reds.

Amor is yet to announce his future beyond his United contract.

Morientes, 41, coached Real Madrid's youth side for three years before coaching Spain's CF Fuenlabrada in the third tier until February.

Should Adelaide set its sights on Pearce, it faces a fight to secure the 55-year-old Nottingham Forest legend, with at least three other A-League clubs also on the hunt for a new coach.

The Wellington Phoenix, according to English sources, on Monday night put in an offer for the former Manchester City boss, after the Newcastle Jets also flagged interest.

Melbourne City - Manchester City's little sister - is also destined to replace coach Michael Valkanis after the club delivered underwhelming results despite the biggest A-League budget ever.

Pearce has not managed a side since February 2015 when he was in charge of Nottingham Forest in the English Championship.

The hardman of English football first led Forest as a caretaker boss in 1996 and 1997.

He coached Manchester City in the English Premier League from 2005 until 2007, before taking charge of England's under-21s.

He led the juniors until 2013, unleashing stars such as England gloveman Joe Hart and Arsenal's Theo Walcott

Pearce had a modest budget at City - spending $10.8 million on new players in the 2006-07 season compared to current boss Pep Guardiola, who shelled out $306 million this season.

City was bought by the billionaire City Football Group in 2008.

Pearce also led Great Britain's Olympic football team to a quarterfinal shootout loss to South Korea at the London Games in 2012.

He also worked as an assistant manager to England international boss Fabio Capello before taking charge as a caretaker for one game - a 3-2 loss to the Netherlands at Wembley in 2012.

Pearce, then playing for Nottingham Forest, was earmarked to face Adelaide City in 1995 in a friendly at Hindmarsh but a last-minute call-up for England international duty at Japan's Kerin Cup saw the defender bypass his club's 1-0 win.

The friendly was City legend's Sergio Melta's farewell clash after a record 445 games for the three-time national soccer league champion.

News Corp Australia

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