Sam Allardyce has been given permission by Sunderland to talk with the Football Association over the England job, according to reports.
The 61-year-old has emerged as a leading candidate to fill the England vacancy.
Sam Allardyce had emerged as the leading candidate in recent days and now appears to be closing in on the position.
Allardyce reportedly visited FA vice-chairman David Gill's house yesterday to discuss the role.
The Teesside club issued a statement as part of the announcment.
“Sam is very much key to our plans and we want him to remain as manager of our football club,” Sunderland said.
“The on-going speculation over Sam’s position is extremely damaging.
“We urge to the FA to respect the disruption that this process is causing and bring about a swift resolution to the matter.”
The FA have been linked with a whole host of names, including Arsene Wenger and Jurgen Klinsmann, but this is the first formal step that has been taken by the body.
Sam Allardyce met with David Gill on Tuesday but it’s understood the meeting was not a formal interview for the job.
Allardyce flew back to the UK from Sunderland's pre-season training camp in Austria to meet with Gill, FA technical director Dan Ashworth and chief executive Martin Glenn.
With the formal interview process now underway, the FA is reported to be keen on talking to Eddie Howe, Steve Bruce and US Soccer manager Jurgen Klinsmann, with Ashworth, Gill and Glenn expected to carry out more interviews in the next few days.
Sam Allardyce has extensive experience of English football, having coached a number of Premier League sides. He started his managerial career as a player-coach at Limerick in 1991 before later moving to Preston North End in 1992.
Sunderland marks his ninth stint as a manager after joining the club in October 2015.
Sunderland's full statement:
"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."
Culled from Independent