Gareth Southgate will be confirmed as England's next permanent manager before the end of the month on a four-year contract, with formal discussions over his appointment expected to start early next week.
The former under-21s coach completed his four-match stint in interim charge with a draw against Spain at Wembley on Tuesday, after victories against Malta and Scotland and a stalemate in Slovenia that secured England's position at the top of their World Cup qualifying group. The 46-year-old is taking a few days off before a meeting, scheduled for the start of next week, to review his spell in temporary charge but is effectively considered the only candidate to succeed Sam Allardyce.
Southgate, conscious that the under-21s have qualified for the European Championship next summer, has made clear his desire for his situation to be resolved as quickly as possible but the FA's chief executive, Martin Glenn, is intent upon following a formal process before confirming the appointment.
A five-man committee – comprising Glenn, the FA's chairman, Greg Clarke, the technical director, Dan Ashworth, the League Managers' Association chairman, Howard Wilkinson, and the former England left-back Graeme Le Saux – was set up in October to determine the succession.
They are expected to meet formally for the first time before the weekend. “We will take a bit of time to reflect, but hopefully not too long,” Glenn said. “It’s important we build the right platform for success in the future. We just need to weigh up all the facts and take the time to make the right decision. Gareth is a really strong candidate and clearly, after the last four games, his candidacy has become much stronger. Not just based on one or two matches, but because of what we’ve seen over the last couple of years. He’s got renewed confidence and is a different manager to what he was two years ago. It will be a fact-based decision [by the committee]. Ultimately the final decision will be made by me, Greg Clarke and Dan Ashworth.”
There will be talks with Southgate's representatives over a salary, though he and his camp have accepted that, as an internal candidate, he will not command the same wage as that paid to his recent predecessors. Roy Hodgson earned £3.5m a year and Allardyce, whose tenure did not stretch beyond 67 days, was due to receive an annual salary of £3m. His departure came with a £1m pay-off.
Southgate’s is likely to fall nearer £1.5m a year, doubling his current package with the under-21s, though there will be considerable bonuses on offer dependent upon the team’s performance. The four-year deal will be reviewed after the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia, with a break clause inserted into the contract.
He is likely to be joined on the permanent staff by his assistant from the junior set-up, Steve Holland. Chelsea are open to the idea of their first-team coach taking over with the seniors while combining his duties with those at Stamford Bridge. That appointment will also have to be discussed by the FA.
“I’ve probably enjoyed [the stint in temporary charge] more than I’d envisaged I would,” Southgate said. “I had no idea what it would feel like, but I feel immensely proud. They have been terrific games to be involved with – especially the two this week, which were fantastic occasions but completely different challenges. I’ve loved it.”
Southgate had expressed reluctance over the summer, in the wake of Hodgson’s departure, about taking on the senior role either on a temporary or permanent basis and had envisaged returning to club management at the end of his under-21s’ contract. That stance has since shifted.
“I am determined to manage at the highest level possible, club or country, home or abroad,” he said. “Experiences like this are a big part of that journey. I want to manage big matches and I have proved I can do that.”
Aidy Boothroyd, the under-20s coach, has been filling in for Southgate with the under-21s and oversaw their qualification for the tournament in Poland next summer. While he is still considered the favourite to secure that position full-time, the FA will follow a similar process in determining that appointment and will discuss the merits of the former Derby manager Paul Clement – currently Carlo Ancelotti's No2 at Bayern Munich but briefly a member of Southgate's staff earlier this year – and the former England defender Phil Neville.