Sunderland have called for a quick resolution after Sam Allardyce was interviewed for the England job at the home of FA vice-chairman David Gill on Tuesday.
Allardyce flew back to the UK from Sunderland’s pre-season training camp in Austria, and met with Gill, FA technical director Dan Ashworth and chief executive Martin Glenn.
The 61-year-old left Sunderland in a tracksuit on Tuesday lunchtime and was later seen entering and leaving Gill’s Cheshire home via a chauffeur-driven Mercedes.
Sunderland have confirmed Allardyce was given permission to speak to the FA by the club over the England position.
“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,” read an official statement from Sunderland.
“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.”
With the formal interview process now underway, the FA is reported to be keen on talking to Eddie Howe, Steve Bruce and US Soccer manager Jurgen Klinsmann, with Ashworth, Gill and Glenn expected to carry out more interviews in the next few days.