LONDON (AP) England is on the verge of hiring Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce to take charge of the national team as Roy Hodgson's successor.
A person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the English Football Association is close to finalizing Allardyce's appointment.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the appointment has not been made and the FA board, which is due to meet on Thursday, has to approve new coaches.
The FA has to secure Allardyce's release from Sunderland, which urged for a swift resolution last week after revealing that the 61-year-old Englishman had held talks with England.
''At the present time Sam Allardyce remains Sunderland manager,'' Sunderland said in a statement on Wednesday evening. ''We share in the anger and frustration of our supporters and would like to assure them that we are working to conclude the matter in the best interests of Sunderland.''
The FA began searching for a new coach three weeks ago when Hodgson's hopes of extending his four-year stint were ended by an embarrassing loss to Iceland in the last 16 of the European Championship. The defeat prolonged the country's trophy drought since the 1966 World Cup.
England has little time to dwell on the humiliation in France with qualifying for the 2018 World Cup beginning with an away match against Slovakia on Sept. 4.
Allardyce has 25 years of experience in management, including spells in the Premier League with Bolton, Newcastle, Blackburn and West Ham.
Although Allardyce has never won a major trophy as a player or coach, he has a reputation for improving struggling teams.
Allardyce joined Sunderland in October and helped the team stay in the Premier League, further improving his credentials for the England job.
Like Hodgson, Allardyce never appeared as a player for England.