Sam Allardyce will be appointed as England’s next manager at Thursday’s Football Association board meeting at Wembley, outgoing chairman Greg Dyke has confirmed.
Allardyce has been selected as Roy Hodgson’s replacement by a three-man panel comprising FA chief executive Martin Glenn, vice-chairman David Gill and technical director Dan Ashworth, beating out the likes of Steve Bruce, Eddie Howe and Jurgen Klinsmann.
Reports suggest Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger had been their first-choice but with no indication the Frenchman would accept the job, the Sunderland boss won out.
The meeting represents Dyke’s final day in office after three years and, although he was not involved in the head-hunting process, he will be present as Glenn and Gill present their reasons for nominating Allardyce.
Asked if Allardyce was the man for the job Dyke told Sky Sports News: “Clearly the three-man group are convinced he’s the right man and I go along with that, yes.
“We appointed a three-man committee to go out and look at all the candidates, come back with a recommendation who they thought was the best man. They’ve taken that decision and obviously we’ll agree with them.
“I think you’d have to ask them but as far as I understand it that’s the discussion.”
Once that is ratified the business of finalising the details will take precedence - with personal terms still to be settled and a compensation package for Sunderland among the outstanding issues.
All parties would prefer for a swift resolution, with the new Premier League season on the horizon and England’s World Cup qualifying campaign beginning on September 4, but it is possible an official announcement on Allardyce’s appointment may could be held up by negotiations.
The Black Cats, who appeared to have found stability in the dugout after several seasons of managerial strife, have already made their unhappiness clear and could hold out for a sizeable pay-off.
Allardyce took charge of the Wearsiders for what should be the final time during a 3-0 friendly win over Hartlepool on Wednesday night, but did not re-emerge for the second half.
At the conclusion of the match, a club statement read: “Naturally we are aware of the intense media speculation this evening. However at the present time, Sam Allardyce remains our manager.
“We share in the anger and frustration of our supporters and would like to assure them that we are working to conclude the matter in the best interests of Sunderland AFC.”
The board meeting, scheduled to begin at 10am, was in the diary long before Hodgson stepped down following the side’s Euro 2016 disappointment and is expected to continue for most of the day.
It is thought Allardyce will be offered an initial two-year deal, covering the 2018 World Cup campaign, but Glenn is hoping for a longer partnership than that and intends to integrate Allardyce into the wider FA system, working alongside coaches of the national age-group sides from Under-16s up.
Speaking on Wednesday Glenn defended the timing of the process, despite coming under pressure from both Sunderland and Hull, Bruce’s employers, to act quickly.
“It’s been three weeks. Is three weeks a long period of time? If we’d have done a knee-jerk and done it in three days, we’d have been rightly accused of knee-jerking,” he said.
“We’re taking an appropriate amount of time. Of course we’re concerned about how individual clubs manage, etc. We aren’t blind to that, we just need to make the right decision.”
Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has backed Allardyce to succeed.
When the Swede left his post 10 years ago Allardyce came second to Steve McClaren in the race to succeed him but is now within touching distance of his dream job.
Eriksson, who led England to three successive major tournament quarter-finals, does not see that as a problem appointing a man who has hitherto worked at non-elite clubs like Bolton, West Ham, Blackburn and Sunderland.
Eriksson said: “If you take a team from the lower part of the table you have to adapt to what you want to do.
“You have to defend and have to be organised. I think it depends on the situation.
“Many times Sam has had a team struggling for survival and he has done the job.”
Once in the position, Allardyce will find himself open to front-page headlines as well as back-page, something that Eriksson knows only too well.
The Swede added on Sky Sports News: “He doesn’t need any advice, I know for a long time that he has wanted that job.
“He knows the English press as well as I know them, so that is the hardest part - not the hardest part but it’s the least pleasant part of the job.”