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Sunderland's Allardyce set for England interview this week: FA keen amid contract clause

Monday, July 11, 2016 Source:

The Sunderland manager is emerging as a leading contender for the vacancy a decade after he was first overlooked in favour of Steve McClaren.

USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann is among the other candidates being considered as the FA press ahead with its search for Roy Hodgson’s successor, although on Sunday Arsene Wenger effectively ruled himself out of the running after insisting he will not break his contract with Arsenal.

Allarydce will be given the chance to make his pitch in the coming days with Sunderland having been made aware of the FA’s interest. He has an exit clause in his contract.

His credentials have been championed by Sir Alex Ferguson to David Gill, the former Manchester United CEO who is part of the three-man panel charged with picking the next England manager.

FA technical director Dan Ashworth and CEO Martin Glenn make up the rest of the committee and they have completed the consultation process with leading figures and are pushing for an appointment by the end of the month.

Despite England’s dismal showing at Euro 2016 when they lost to minnows Iceland in the last 16 to prompt Hodgson’s resignation, the FA does not believe the system is fundamentally broken.

They want a strong manager who would bring certainty in terms of playing style and selection and, as well as Allardyce, the merits of Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe have also been discussed.

When Allardyce was interviewed to replace Sven-Goran Eriksson in 2006, he had prepared a Power Point presentation which “nobody but nobody was going to beat”, only for the FA not to have the facilities for him to show it. He had to print out hard copies instead and lost out to McClaren.

Klinsmann’s close friend Oliver Bierhoff revealed the USA coach and former Germany manager was “in discussions” with the FA and he has fallen out with senior officials at the US Football Federation. Guus Hiddink has also been linked.

Wenger said he could manage England one day, but reiterated he intends to see out the final year of his deal at The Emirates.

The FA will speak to Wenger, but confirmation from him that they would have to wait at least a year to appoint him means they are likely to look elsewhere.

''Could I manage England? Why not? I would never rule that out, but I am happy and focused in club football,” said Wenger.

''I have one more year to go with Arsenal and I have been with them for a long time. I have always respected all my contacts [throughout my career] and will continue to do that.

''What will I do after that? Honestly, I don’t know.”

Wenger revealed he was shell-shocked by England’s demise at Euro 2016 to minnows Iceland, but sensed during the 2-1 defeat they were not going to overturn the deficit.

''England is my second country,” he said. “I was absolutely on my knees when England went out against Iceland. I couldn’t believe it.

''But when you watched the game you could sense, after 60 minutes, that the worst could happen. Did they panic or were they tired? I don’t know, but England couldn’t find an answer to what Iceland posed.”

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