Sam Allardyce has emerged as the clear favourite to become England’s new manager with reports suggesting he was interviewed by Football Association vice-chairman David Gill on Tuesday.
Sunderland boss Allardyce left the Black Cats’ pre-season training camp in Austria earlier this week and, although it was initially thought it was due to talks with a transfer target, the 61-year-old has subsequently been pictured leaving Gill’s house in Cheshire.
Allardyce reportedly has the backing of former Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson, who worked with Gill for many years at Old Trafford and remains an influential figure in his decision-making.
United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann and AFC Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe are also fancied by the bookmakers but Allardyce appears to be in pole position to succeed Roy Hodgson, who resigned in the immediate aftermath of England’s Euro 2016 defeat to Iceland.
It is the second time Allardyce has been interviewed for the Three Lions post after losing out to Steve McClaren in 2006.
Since then he has furthered his club career which, apart from a short, unhappy spell at Newcastle United, has seen him work successfully at Blackburn Rovers and West Ham before keeping Sunderland in the Premier League last season with a fine run of form after Christmas.
His boss at West Ham, co-chairman David Gold, believes Allardyce has the qualities required to improve England’s fortunes.
He told BBC Radio Five Live: “He is determined, he is ambitious. He’s been in the business a long time.
“I think the most important thing from my point of view is that he’s English.”
Sunderland will be hoping the issue is resolved quickly as they face up to the prospect of searching for a seventh manager in five years.