Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce is edging closer to becoming the new manager of England following talks with the Football Association.
The Black Cats say they have given the manager permission to speak with the FA about the England role, but at the same time they have made it very clear they want to keep him at the Stadium of Light.
Allardyce on Tuesday had an initial meeting with the three-man Football Association panel, which will appoint the next England boss. It is understood to be the start of the formal process to appoint Roy Hodgson’s successor following the dreadful Euro 2016 campaign.
FA vice-chairman David Gill, technical director Dan Ashworth and chief executive Martin Glenn are open minded about the process and will not be rushed into an appointment, but Sunderland want the uncertainty over Allardyce to be clarified as quickly as possible.
A Sunderland statement read: “The Football Association contacted Sunderland AFC to seek permission to speak with our manager as part of what was supposed to be a confidential discussion process with potential candidates for the position of England manager.
“At Sam Allardyce’s request, we agreed to this.
“Sam is very much key to our plans. After what was an extremely challenging season, we are keen to see a period of stability, both on and off the field, and we want him to remain as manager of our football club.
“The ongoing speculation over Sam’s position is extremely damaging to Sunderland AFC, particularly at this crucial time of the season and we urge the FA to respect the disruption that this process is causing and bring about a swift resolution to the matter.”
Allardyce is 21/50 with Titanbet to be the next permanent England manager.