The FA’s search for a new England manager hit a bump yesterday when the favourite to replace Roy Hodgson, Gareth Southgate, ruled himself out of the running.
The England Under-21 manager was sounded out as potential interim manager but turned the position down as he believes a job in the Premier League is the next step in his career.
Some interesting names have been mentioned as possibly filling the position Hodgson vacated after England’s embarrassing exit from the European Championship on Monday.
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Jamie Carragher wants Jurgen Klinsmann. Harry Redknapp thinks Glenn Hoddle is the perfect man for the job, adding that Tim Sherwood is a viable option.
Even Arsene Wenger’s name has been thrown into the ring.
Initially, it appeared that the Arsenal boss would be a long shot to be England’s next manager. But The Times don’t believe that it’s too far-fetched an idea.
According to Matt Hughes, deputy football correspondent at the newspaper, Wenger is actually willing to discuss the England job with the FA.
The Frenchman harbours a desire to manage the Three Lions when his 20-year spell at Arsenal is over, which could come next year when his contract expires.
And Wenger fits the criteria outlined by FA chief-executive Martin Glenn on Tuesday.
“An ideal mix is somebody who has had experience of the English game, ideally at a significant level. That is what you would look for,” Glenn said, per The Guardian.
“I won’t be drawn [on specific names] but track records are clearly a very important part of any process.”
However, there is a caveat to Wenger’s interest. And it’s a risk for the FA to adhere to it.
Wenger has presented a dilemma
The Times’ report adds that the Arsenal manager wants to delay making a decision on his future until next summer, even if initial talks with the FA are positive.
Which puts the FA in a tough decision of potentially having to wait a year to hear Wenger’s decision. There’s no certainty that he will say yes, or that he won’t be given a new contract at the Emirates, and by that time, the FA’s current list of targets could be snapped up or no longer interested.
Klinsmann has improved his reputation as a manager drastically in his five years in charge of the United States.
They impressed at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, where they went toe-to-toe with Belgium in an enthralling round-of-16 clash, and won the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
And the USA finished fourth at the recent Copa America Centenario.
So it’s unlikely that too many England fans will be unhappy if the German arrives.