England bosses are confident Gareth Southgate will snub any big club job if he is head-hunted after the World Cup.
The Three Lions coach – along with director of football Dan Ashworth – has helped oversee a re-structuring of the way England approach tournaments.
And they don’t believe Southgate will walk away after formulating a blueprint for the future which can be rolled out across all levels of the FA’s international teams after the success at Russia 2018.
Southgate’s calm, thoughtful style, strategy skills and ability to make tough decisions have been showcased in Russia, leaving senior FA figures certain he’ll be a target once England’s World Cup adventure is over.
(Image: Mike Hewitt – FIFA)
They believe Southgate will be on a few wish-lists – but they are hopeful he won’t ditch the Three Lions and is committed to taking England further, with his current contract due to end after the next European Championship in 2020.
FA bosses have the option to extend Southgate’s deal – and that’s becoming an increasing possibility after guiding England into the semi-finals in Russia.
Chairman Greg Clarke and chief executive Martin Glenn are keen to have a clear run at the Euros without contract talks or uncertainty over his future hovering in the background.
(Image: Dan Mullan)
Southgate, who managed Middlesbrough for five years until 2006, has given no indication he is in a hurry to return to Premier League management.
But it’s clear his reputation has risen considerably since taking charge in September 2016.
The pair will prepare a report detailing the successes of the tournament and report back to the FA.
The findings will be passed down to the other FA age-group coaches who have been at England’s Repino base, including Under-21 coach Aidy Boothroyd, Under-19 boss Keith Downing and Steve Cooper, the Under-17s manager.
This World Cup will be viewed by the FA as a tournament where big progress has been made.
Ending the penalty shoot-out jinx in the last-16 clash with Colombia was a big step forward but the way Southgate and his staff have managed the build-up to the World Cup and executed their plan at the training base in Repino has drawn praise.
And it’s not only in the men’s game that the FA hope they will benefit from Russia 2018. England women have a crucial qualifier against Wales at the end of next month, which is why women’s boss Phil Neville has been having frequent meetings with Ashworth, and occasionally Southgate.