Old hand

THE FA are expected to confirm Terry Venables as Steve McClaren’s future number two this week. Venables, who started his coaching career at Crystal Palace, managed England between 1994-96, but has been out of football since leaving Leeds three years ago. He will act as mentor and advisor to the new England boss in waiting, a role which Sir Bobby Robson is currently playing for the Republic of Ireland. Venables reportedly turned down the vacant managerial position at Middlesbrough, which may now be filled by Martin O’Neill, himself a one-time candidate for the England job.

Split loyalties

FOLLOWING A national referendum, Montenegro will become the world’s 192nd independent state, competing as a separate entity from Serbia in future football competitions, after the current World Cup is over. Former AC Milan star, and current federation President, Dejan Savicevic, hopes that admittance to Fifa and Uefa can be arranged in time to allow his new country to take part in Euro 2008 and the next World Cup in South Africa.

Busman’s holiday

LIVERPOOL AND Spain goalkeeper, Pepe Reina, has tied the knot with his long-time girlfriend Yolanda Ruiz. The groom will now spend his honeymoon with 22 team mates in Germany! Reina, who has become a regular in the Anfield goal, is expected to be only second choice, behind Madrid’s Iker Casillas, for his country.

Sex games

GERMAN INTERNATIONALS Oliver Kahn and Michael Ballack are suing their country’s largest chain of sex shops, Beate Uhse. The pair decided to take legal action after it was discovered that large vibrators bearing the logos “Olli K.” and “Michael B.” were on sale at outlets throughout the country.