Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce is expected to be named the new England manager inside the next 24 hours, British press reports said on Wednesday, tasked with guiding the under-performing national side to the 2018 World Cup.
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 frontrunner for the job, will be officially named as the new manager at a Football Association board meeting on Thursday.
“Big Sam” 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 were 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.
Allardyce is believed to have been given a glowing recommendation by former Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson.
Earlier on Wednesday, FA chief executive Martin Glenn had told Sky Sports News: “We’re not after a short-term mercenary, someone just to do the job for a couple of years.
“I want someone to come in to the England role to really work with not just the senior team, but to make sure all the great work with the under-16s, 17s, 18s and to knit all that together.
“We want someone to do a great job for the England national team, but as well make sure all the development teams are laddering up to something more effective.”
Allardyce took over the Sunderland hot-seat from Dick Advocaat in October 2015 and safely guided the Black Cats to Premier League safety after a season-long battle to avoid relegation.
The northeast club now face the task of finding a ninth permanent boss in less than eight years.
Sunderland were unhappy with the way news of Allardyce’s discussions leaked out but they have drawn up a list of potential candidates and it is understood the names of former Everton and Real Sociedad manager David Moyes and Burnley’s Sean Dyche are at the top of it.