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Ferguson's poised to take Preston post

Reports suggest Darren Ferguson is set to take over as manager of Championship club Preston.

The 37-year-old has been a free agent since leaving Peterborough in November and now he appears to be on the brink of replacing Alan Irvine at Deepdale.

Irvine, 51, was surprisingly shown the door last week despite saving the Lancashire outfit from relegation in 2007/08 and guiding them into the play-offs last season.

Lilywhites chairman Derek Shaw yesterday said: "Darren Ferguson has excellent credentials and we would be silly not to want to see him. We have spoken to representatives of a couple of the other (targets) and we want to get this decision right and we want it sooner rather than later."

Landon eager to start at Everton

United States attacking midfielder Landon Donovan has begun his 10-week loan spell at Everton to stay in shape for the World Cup.

The 27-year-old Los Angeles Galaxy player will stay at the Premier League club during the Major League Soccer offseason, and the Toffees' US goalkeeper Tim Howard is helping him settle in to English football.

The Americans play England on June 12 in their group opener.

"I am ready to enjoy it and I want to personally get myself sharp while I am here," Donovan said.

"Tim Howard has had nothing but great things to say about this team so I am excited. Going into a World Cup year this experience will keep me sharp.

"I think the Premier League will suit my style of play. I like a fast-paced game."

FFF fancy Blanc for Domenech

Laurent Blanc is a strong candidate to replace Raymond Domenech as France coach after the World Cup, French Football Federation (FFF) president Jean-Pierre Escalettes said yesterday.

"Laurent Blanc is an exemplary man, he proved it as player and as coach," Escalettes said about the 1998 World Cup-winning defender who coaches Ligue 1 champions Girondins Bordeaux.

"He certainly is a good candidate."

Escalettes also cited World Cup winner Didier Deschamps, former France midfielder Jean Tigana and current assistant coach Alain Boghossian as possible replacements for Domenech, whose contract ends after this year's tournament in South Africa.