Stoke target Neville as owner Coates prepares for crisis talks with long-serving boss Pulis
Phil Neville is wanted as first-team coach at Stoke as manager Tony Pulis prepares for crisis talks with owner Peter Coates this week.
Sportsmail can reveal that Neville, who is considering retirement after being released by Everton, will be offered the role by the ambitious Potters.
Coates is overseeing a huge change in the technical set-up at the Britannia Stadium and wants Neville to help put his plans into practice before the start of next season.
Neville, who will assist England Under 21 coach Stuart Pearce this summer during the European Championship in Israel, is giving serious consideration to his future.
The former Manchester United, Everton and England defender and holding midfielder insisted on Sunday that he hadn’t decided whether to finish his playing career at the age of 36.
New United chief David Moyes revealed on Sunday, after Everton’s final game of the season at Chelsea, that Neville’s persistent knee problems may force the issue.
Neville is interested in a coaching role next season, but he is also waiting to discover whether Everton or United offer him one.
The Merseysiders are still hunting for a new manager, and Moyes will be given freedom to bring in some of his own coaching staff as he begins his managerial career at Old Trafford.
But Stoke are the first to make a move for Neville, who has long been considered to have managerial or coaching potential at the highest level.
He is being fast-tracked by England, who also employ his brother Gary as assistant to head coach Roy Hodgson, as they plan for the future.
Neville, who watched Everton’s defeat at Stamford Bridge from the press box, insists that he will take the next couple of weeks to decide on his future.
That may yet be at Stoke as the intrigue surrounding Pulis’s position after almost seven years at the club continues to build.
The 55-year-old has done an excellent job after guiding Stoke into the Barclays Premier League in 2008. Since then, Pulis has taken the club to a Wembley FA Cup final and into Europe.
He has never been relegated as a manager, but has come under massive pressure to alter the team’s style of play this season.
Pulis will not resign but Stoke are preparing to offer a compromise agreement as they consider their options in the coming days.
The manager, who led the club to 13th place in the Premier League this campaign — six points clear of safety — fears that he is being pushed out of the door.