Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew says the England job would be the pinnacle of his career, but remains fully focused on his club.
Pardew is among the favourites to replace Sam Allardyce, who left his position with the national side on Tuesday less than 24 hours after the Daily Telegraph published footage claiming to be from a meeting in August between a pair of undercover reporters and the 61-year-old.
In the footage, Allardyce allegedly told two men purporting to be from a Far East investment firm how they might “get around” FA regulations concerning the transfers of players under third-party ownership.
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has already ruled himself out of the running and, while Pardew said he was “proud” to be linked, he stressed his loyalty to Palace and wished interim England boss Gareth Southgate well.
“Eddie Howe said this morning it was the pinnacle for any Englishman’s career – I agree with that,” Pardew said at his pre-match media conference ahead of Palace’s match away to Everton on Friday.
“Of course I’m privileged and proud to be in that small group that is going to be linked with it – that I’m not going to shy away from.
“The other part is the focus I have to do here and return their loyalty to me, that won’t shake, I won’t let that happen to me.
“England have a good manager in charge with Gareth. He’s been in the system, knows the players coming in. I have tremendous respect for him as a player, coach and manager.
“He has a bit of x-factor about him. Gareth has four games guaranteed and I hope he does well. I think he will do well.
“He will work very, very hard for England’s players and these next few games are crucial for them.
“Coming back to myself, I’m very happy with where this club is right now. This football club right at this moment in time is where I want to be.
“I’m so lucky to have this football club where it is right now, the chairman and I have a great relationship. We have two American investors who have shown me great faith. I have a team I have a good feeling about.
“It holds a special place for me as I played here, that is where my focus is entirely right now.”