England will approach Arsene Wenger with regards to their vacant manager’s position, but face a battle with Arsenal, according to reports.
Wenger was on a shortlist of managers the FA drew up in the days following Roy Hodgson’s summer departure, but the Frenchman eventually opted to stay at Arsenal.
His contract with the Gunners expires at the end of the current Premier League season, and the Daily Telegraph report that he is once again a target for the national team in the wake of Sam Allardyce’s exit.
However, Matt Law of the Telegraph writes that Arsenal wish to keep Wenger beyond his current deal, with owner Stan Kroenke ‘still hoping to agree a contract extension’.
Law adds that Wenger was ‘the first man’ the FA contacted after Hodgson resigned following Euro 2016, but the Arsenal manager did not wish to break his contract at the Emirates Stadium.
‘At the time, the FA did not feel they could wait an entire season for Wenger and turned to Sam Allardyce,’ Law writes. ‘But the country’s governing body are now prepared let the 66-year-old see out the remainder of his Arsenal deal if wants to take over the national team next summer.
‘Gareth Southgate, who did not want a caretaker role following the departure of Hodgson, has now agreed to take charge of the senior England team for the next four games and there is then an international break until the World Cup qualifier against Lithuania on March 26.
‘That means Southgate would only need to take charge of one extra qualifier if the FA managed to convince Wenger to leave the Emirates at the end of the season ahead of the Scotland game on June 10.
‘Wenger ticks all of the boxes for the FA as they consider their long-term options following the departure of Allardyce after just 67 days in charge, but they will face a fight from Arsenal to land him.’