Sunderland chiefs have called on the Football Association to move quickly and appoint a new England manager after Black Cats boss Sam Allardyce was interviewed for the vacancy on Tuesday.
The club confirmed that Allardyce had left a pre-season training camp in Austria to hold talks with the FA over succeeding Roy Hodgson, who quit last month after an embarrassing Euro 2016 exit against Iceland.
United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe have also been linked with the position, but Allardyce has emerged as the hot favourite.
“The Football Association contacted Sunderland 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,” the club said.
“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, 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.”
Former West Ham, Blackburn, Newcastle and Bolton manager Allardyce, who missed out on the England job when interviewed for the role in 2006, masterminded Sunderland’s escape from relegation last season.
The 61-year-old took over from Dick Advocaat in October, when the club had just three points from eight games, but guided them to 17th in the Premier League, losing just one of their last 11 matches.