Sam Allardyce is yet to be contacted by the Football Association amid reports that he would be interviewed for the vacant England manager’s job this week.
The 61-year-old Sunderland boss has left his club’s pre-season training camp in Austria as speculation mounts that he has been identified as one of a series of candidates to replace Roy Hodgson, although Press Association Sport understands his departure is connected to a potential signing.
United States manager Jurgen Klinsmann and Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe also figure prominently in the list of potential candidates said to have been drawn up by the FA’s technical director Dan Ashworth, chief executive Martin Glenn and vice-chairman David Gill as they seek a replacement for Hodgson, who fell on his sword following a desperately disappointing Euro 2016 finals campaign.
Allardyce was interviewed for the same job a little more than 10 years ago, only for Steve McClaren to be appointed, although he has enhanced his reputation since, most recently by preserving Sunderland’s Barclays Premier League status at the end of last season.
Reports have suggested he had already held preliminary talks with the FA, but Press Association Sport understands the former Bolton, Blackburn and West Ham boss is unaware of any impending appointment this week.
Allardyce signed a two-year deal with the Black Cats in October last year and therefore has more than a year of his existing contract remaining.
However, claims that he has a get-out clause which would allow him to walk away from the Stadium of Light have been dismissed by sources on Wearside.
Allardyce has made no secret of his disappointment at being pipped by McClaren a decade ago, or his ambition to take up the challenge of international management one day.
However, he admitted after accepting the Sunderland hot-seat that he had wondered during the previous few months if his time in management had come to an end, and while he has answered that question emphatically during the ensuing months, it remains to be seen whether or not the chance to lead his country remains as alluring as it once was.
In the meantime, he is throwing himself into the task of trying to prevent his current employers from finding themselves thrust into a fifth successive relegation battle by building upon the foundations established last season.
The work he did to drag the club out of trouble once again was hugely appreciated not only by chairman Ellis Short, but by supporters who are hopeful of a brighter future under a man who had previously played for the club.
Both the Texan businessman and those supporters will hope the prospect of that future will be enough to persuade Allardyce to remain in the north-east should the call eventually come from the FA.
Another man to have been linked with the England post is Hull’s Steve Bruce.
Alan Shearer pushed his name forward on Monday and the former Manchester United defender said he was honoured by the talk.
“It’s highly flattering and I’m honoured to be linked with it,” he told the Hull Daily Mail.
“Whether or not it goes any further than that… It’s the pinnacle isn’t it? To manage your country, there’s no bigger job.
“It’s all speculation. There’s a lot of people who have written nice things and I’m grateful for that.”