Steve Bruce in dark as search for next England manager continues
The Football Association continues the search for England's next manager, but it remains to be seen whether Hull boss Steve Bruce will be invited for an interview.
The formal process to appoint Roy Hodgson's successor following the dreadful Euro 2016 campaign has now started, but FA vice-chairman David Gill, technical director Dan Ashworth and chief executive Martin Glenn will not be rushed into an appointment.
Sam Allardyce has returned to work at Sunderland after he met with FA representatives on Tuesday, as the Barclays Premier League club made it clear they wanted the uncertainty over their manager's position to be clarified as quickly as possible.
Hull, meanwhile, confirmed to Press Association Sport on Thursday lunchtime there had as yet been no official approach for Bruce.
Former Manchester United defender Bruce guided Hull back to the Premier League via the Championship play-offs and like all club managers is currently busy with pre-season preparations.
Bournemouth's Eddie Howe and United States head coach Jurgen Klinsmann are also reportedly on the FA shortlist.
Allardyce is understood to be one of a series of potential candidates due to hold discussions with the FA's three-man selection panel.
The 61-year-old left Sunderland's training camp in Austria, ostensibly to continue his pursuit of summer transfer targets, and was given permission by Sunderland to meet the FA's representatives for what were supposed to be confidential talks.
The former Bolton, Blackburn and West Ham boss, who was overlooked for the England job a decade ago, is now back on club duty in Wearside.
Whatever happens, Sunderland are hoping for a swift conclusion to the matter as they contemplate the prospect of having to find a ninth permanent manager inside eight years - something they are desperate to avoid after believing they had struck gold when they appointed their current manager in October last year.
Former captain Steven Gerrard, meanwhile, is convinced England can take things "to the next level" with the right man in charge.
Gerrard won 114 caps for England before retiring after the 2014 World Cup, and also played under the likes of Kevin Keegan, Sven-Goran Eriksson, Steve McClaren and Fabio Capello.
The 36-year-old, who joined Major League Soccer side the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2015, believes once the new man is at the helm, he will inherit a group of players much stronger for the bitter disappointment of Euro 2016.
"This experience and this hurt, I think, will help all of those players moving forward because they won't want to experience it again," Gerrard said in an interview with Virtual Reality company Laduma.
"They will want to improve and get better, and I think with the right manager and the right coaching staff around this group, they can take it to the next level."