Sunderland have confirmed they have reluctantly given Sam Allardyce permission to speak to the FA over the vacant England job. Following the departure of Roy Hodgson after the Three Lions' dismal Euro 2016 campaign, Allardyce has emerged as the favourite to take over as national team boss.
The Black Cats have now confirmed Allardyce requested to hold talks with FA officials and is one of the candidates being considered.
A statement from the club 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."
Allardyce, who succeeded Gus Poyet at the Stadium of Light on October 2015, guided the club to Premier League safety last season. Sunderland are hoping for the matter to come to a "swift resolution" and are unhappy with the "damaging" pursuit of their manager.
"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."
The FA are also reportedly keen on talking to Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe, Hull City's Steve Bruce and US Soccer manager Jurgen Klinsmann.