Football Association chief executive Martin Glenn is happy to bide his time with a caretaker appointment before securing a long-term successor to Roy Hodgson, and would consider appointing a woman as England manager.
Hodgson stepped down in the aftermath of England’s humiliating 2-1 last-16 defeat to Iceland at Euro 2016 and Glenn will form a three-man selection panel alongside FA technical director Dan Ashworth and former Manchester United chief executive David Gill.
England begin their qualification campaign for the 2018 World Cup in Russia against Slovakia in September but Glenn – who conceded when speaking alongside Hodgson at a Tuesday media briefing that he was “not a football expert” – could not guarantee that a successor will be in place by then.
Asked whether he would consider a caretaker appointment, Glenn said: “Yes, for such an important decision. It is a possibility, of course.
“If you said, this person is an absolute shoo-in, can you wait, then we are well placed with an interim solution. Otherwise you might get a few interim solutions – a few managers to come and help.
“It is such an important decision. We have got to get the right person. To wait a few months, if that is what we had to do, would be the right decision.”
Talk of England being in a healthy position for interim options would appear to strengthen the hand of Gareth Southgate, the current England Under-21 manager and bookmakers’ favourite.
Glenn’s words will also do little to quell speculation that the FA would be keen to appoint Arsene Wenger – the veteran tactician, who will enter the final year of his current deal at Arsenal this forthcoming season.
But it was perhaps another person recently on the FA’s payroll, former England Women coach Hope Powell, who came to mind when Glenn stated how widely he was willing to conduct the search.
“It has got to be the best man or woman for the job. More likely a man, but it’s the best person for the job. I don’t think we are ruling out anything,” he explained.
“An ideal mix is somebody who has had experience of the English game, ideally at a significant level. That is what you would look for.”
He added: “I think you want them to be an inspirational manager who is sophisticated enough to harness all the modern techniques that you can do to build resilience in tournaments and overall success.
“I think it is somebody who has got clearly the track record but also the breadth of experience – not to just stand on the sideline and holler, but to plan. And that is why we are looking for a manager and a wider team to support them.”