Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce is expected to be named the new England manager within the next 24 hours, tasked with guiding the under-performing national side to the 2018 World Cup, British press reports said Wednesday.
Sam Allardyce signs autographs at Hartlepool, where Sunderland played a pre-season friendly on Wednesday night.
Telegraph Sport reported that Allardyce’ appointment as the next coach for the Three Lions comes as the selection panel’s second choice after Arsene Wenger let go the opportunity to take the new job.
The 61-year-old former Bolton, Newcastle and West Ham manager will take over from Roy Hodgson, who stepped down after England’s humiliating last-16 exit to Iceland at the European championships in June.
The Press Association said that Allardyce, the long-time front-runner for the job, will be officially named as the new manager at a Football Association board meeting on Thursday.
He will leave Sunderland after nine months at the Premier League club.
Allardyce was in line for the job a decade ago when Sven-Goran Eriksson departed after the 2006 World Cup, but lost out to Steve McClaren.
He will become England’s 15th permanent manager with Allardyce’s appointment coming on the 50th anniversary of the country’s 1966 World Cup triumph.
Hull manager Steve Bruce was also interviewed for the job while Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe and USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann were also reported to be on the FA’s shortlist.
Both Sunderland and Hull publicly called for a new England manager to be hired immediately so they can focus on finding a replacement or get back to planning for the new season, which gets under way on August 13.
England are hoping to have a new boss in place in time for a scheduled friendly on September 1 and the opening 2018 World Cup qualifier in Slovakia on September 4.
The only remaining issue to be settled is compensation to Sunderland, with Allardyce having a year left on his contract at the Stadium of Light.
In a statement, Sunderland said it was “aware of the intense media speculation” but that Allardyce remained in charge “at the present time”.
It added: “We share in the anger and frustration of our supporters and would like to assure them that we are working to conclude the matter in the best interests of Sunderland AFC.”