Rugby Football Union chief executive Francis Baron expects the appointment of the new England team manager to be finalised by the end of next week.
Martin Johnson remains firm favourite for the newly-created post and RFU elite rugby director Rob Andrew was absent from Twickenham on Tuesday for an “important meeting” on the issue.
Andrew is set to present his proposal to a specially convened RFU management board meeting next week, which would then have to ratify the selection.
Baron said: “If Rob’s meeting is successful, it will enable us to put the final pieces of the jigsaw together fairly quickly.
“What we will hopefully be doing in the next week is appointing a team manager.”
One criticism of Johnson’s candidature is his lack of experience in coaching or management in professional rugby.
England’s 2003 World Cup-winning captain hung up his playing boots three years ago and has filled his time working in the media and for sponsors.
But Baron said: “I think if you are going to fulfil a coaching function, you do (need experience), but management is different.
“You can pick up things much more quickly if you are on the management side than if you have to do a technical job in terms of planning and carrying out sessions.
“We are looking at a team manager. We are not looking at a coaching position here.”
If appointed, Johnson is unlikely to be in place in time for England’s June tour of New Zealand because his wife, Kay, is expecting their second child.
Baron does not expect any new appointment to start until July 1, which coincides with the introduction of the new elite rugby agreement between club and country.
He said: “That gives us time to sort out all the issues on how the group work together.”
However, Baron and RFU chairman Martyn Thomas failed to provide any further clarity to a situation which has grown increasingly murky in the three weeks since it was revealed Andrew had held talks with Johnson.
Head coach Brian Ashton wants a team manager who can share some of the administrative burden but who will not get involved in rugby affairs.
In December, Andrew confirmed Ashton would play a key role in the appointment. However, the RFU’s courting of Johnson suggests the ground has moved since the RBS 6 Nations.
Johnson is unlikely to accept an administrative position and, this weekend, he was urged by Sir Clive Woodward to insist on overall control of the senior England management team.
If that does occur then Ashton, who guided England to second place at both the World Cup and RBS 6 Nations, would be left in limbo having essentially lost his powers of selection and his authority.
Baron refused to confirm specific details of the team manager’s job description, or when the focus shifted from an administrative candidate to a more hands-on rugby appointment.