Gareth Southgate will take charge of England on Tuesday night in a friendly at Wembley against Spain knowing that the Three Lions jobs is all-but his.
The 46-year-old has won two and drawn one of his three games in charge of England so far, since taking over from shamed former boss Sam Allardyce.
And with the Football Association short of serious alternative options that fits their desire for an English manager, the Mirror have revealed that Southgate has impressed the FA's four-man panel enough to convince them that he will be handed the job permanently.
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Southgate is set to hold serious discussions with the FA immediately after England's friendly on Tuesday, with it believed that the former Middlesbrough boss is secretly desperate to take the Three Lions job, despite attempting to avoid such questions from the media.
The FA are set to offer Southgate a £1.5 million-a-year four-year deal that would see him earn significantly less than his predecessors Roy Hodgson and Allardyce, but the deal will include large bonuses and a break clause following the 2018 World Cup.
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Southgate ready for step up
Howard Wilkinson, chairman Greg Clarke, chief executive Martin Glenn and director of elite development Dan Ashworth - who make up the FA's four-man panel - all believe the interim England boss is the right man to succeed Allardyce on a full-time basis.
Southgate oversaw England's comfortable 3-0 World Cup Qualifying win over rivals Scotland on Friday night, and earned the former Under-21 boss his right to officially step up into the senior role on a full-time basis with Aidy Boothroyd taking over the Under-21s.
While England's interim boss has remained coy about his long-term future, it is believed that the 46-year-old wants his future sorted before Christmas. And Southgate was again quiet about his future in Monday's pre-match press conference.
Interim boss remaining quiet
“I don’t think now is the time for those discussions," said Southgate. "I’ve said everything is about the team.
"I’m not a coach for whom what happens to me is the most important thing.
“First and foremost in these four matches I was asked to pick up, the team are in a healthy qualifying position and that’s been done.”
Southgate has steadied the ship since England's poor showing at the European Championships in France this summer, but there will be no denying there is plenty of work for the former Middlesbrough player to do once he secures the managerial hot seat on a permanent basis.
Is Gareth Southgate the right man to take charge of England for the long term? Give your opinion in the comment box below.
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