Sunderland have confirmed that Sam Allardyce has held talks with England over their vacant manager’s job.
It emerged earlier this week that Allardyce had left Sunderland’s training camp in Austria, and although sources initially claimed it was to conduct transfer business, the 61-year-old actually held talks with key figures of the FA.
The Daily Mail exclusively revealed that the Sunderland boss had visited the home of FA vice-chairman David Gill to discuss the England job, and that Dan Ashworth and Martin Glenn, the other two individuals charged with appointing a permanent successor to Roy Hodgson, were present at the meeting.
In a statement on their website, Sunderland confirmed they had granted Allardyce permission to hold the discussions, with the club seeking ‘a swift resolution to the matter’. The statement read:
‘The Football Association contacted Sunderland AFC 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.
‘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 AFC, 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.’