Belfast Telegraph

Sam Allardyce in front as FA close in on new England boss

By Ian Herbert

The Football Association are expected to have decided on the identity of the next England manager by tomorrow, when a full board meeting of the governing body will discuss the merits of Sam Allardyce, Jurgen Klinsmann and Steve Bruce.

The Wembley board meeting was scheduled ahead of the effort to recruit Roy Hodgson's successor but has provided a deadline as the FA look to have their man in place ahead of the World Cup qualifying campaign.

Since three of the board members - Martin Glenn, Dan Ashworth and David Gill - comprise the small team tasked with identifying and recruiting the new manager, the full board may simply be asked to rubber stamp a decision the triumvirate have already reached.

With the governing body acutely aware of the risk of affecting pre-season preparations of the clubs whose managers it has interviewed, it seems possible that an offer will be made this week to the preferred candidate - with Allardyce the front runner - with the small details to be ironed out next week.

Glenn, the FA chief executive, has always felt that there are not fundamental problems with the quality of players at the national team's disposal and it is with that view in mind that his organisation is rapidly looking to set things up for a smooth entry to the World Cup qualifiers.

FA staff were in Slovakia yesterday to survey facilities and logistics ahead of the opening group game at the compact new stadium at Mrnava on September 4.

Sunderland's Big Sam is thought to be happy with the idea of a young English coach working as his assistant within a future national structure, potentially providing a ready-made successor.

He is also likely to have communicated to the FA his positive outlook on the FA's St George's Park set-up.

It has always been his view that the governing body could have built a new national stadium next to Birmingham's NEC, on St George's Park's doorstep, and saved themselves a fortune at the same time.

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