Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce was given permission by the Premier League club to speak to the English Football Association about becoming the next coach of the national team.
The 61-year-old Allardyce requested to talk to the FA about replacing Roy Hodgson, Sunderland said Wednesday. He is the favorite with British bookmakers to take over as England coach.
“We want him to remain as manager of our football club,” Sunderland said in a statement.
Allardyce joined Sunderland in October and helped the team stay in the Premier League. He has 25 years of experience in management, including spells in the Premier League with Bolton, Newcastle, Blackburn and West Ham, and has a reputation for improving struggling teams.
“Sam is very much key to our plans,” Sunderland said. “After what was an extremely challenging season, we are keen to see a period of stability, both on and off the field.
“The ongoing speculation over Sam’s position is extremely damaging to Sunderland, 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.”
The Premier League season starts on August 13.
Allardyce was on tour with Sunderland in Austria until he returned home this week.
Hodgson said he would not be looking to stay on as England coach after the team’s embarrassing elimination from the European Championship last month following a loss to Iceland in the round of 16. Hodgson was in charge for four years.
England begins its qualifying campaign for the 2018 World Cup with an away match against Slovakia on September 4.