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International managers the world over, beware: Big Sam could be coming to a stadium near you. Yep, Premier League side Sunderland have today confirmed that 61-year-old long-ball merchant Sam Allardyce is in talks with the English FA over the possibility of his replacing Roy Hodgson, who was sacked after the Three Lions were eliminated from Euro 2016 by Iceland last month.
Suffice to say, the Black Cats didn't sound too happy about the approach for their incumbent boss:
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.
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.
Allardyce would be a particularly amusing appointment for England, given that major tournament failures over the last decade have left the Three Lions constantly trying to reinvent the wheel. Big Sam's appointment would, in contrast, represent something of a reversion to type; a move away from continental exoticism and towards the industrious ideals of the Premier League. Indeed, is this the footballing equivalent of Brexit?
In the news
Brendan Rodgers' Celtic tenure started with arguably the worst result in the club's history, as they went down to Gibraltar's part-timers Lincoln Red Imps in a Champions League qualifier. (Sky Sports)
Chelsea winger Willian has signed a new four-year deal at Stamford Bridge. (Chelsea FC)
Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has been told to find a new club. (BBC)
Turkish giants Fenerbahçe are about to sign the Merseysiders' defender Martin Skrtel. (Fenerbahçe)
Former Napoli and Roma goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis has joined Monaco. (AS Monaco)
New Watford boss Walter Mazzarri has been keeping his players locked up in a hotel. (Guardian)
Germany boss Joachim Löw will stay on as coach, despite their premature Euro 2016 exit. (ESPNFC)
You should be reading
Angela Roemelt's personal insight into autism and football. (Unusual Efforts)
Bart Vlietstra's look at Tottenham Hotspur's latest signing, Vincent Janssen. (Guardian)
Feargal Brennan's piece on the life and times of former AC Milan defender Kakha Kaladze. (These Football Times)
From the rumor mill
Please don't take anything in this section too seriously, for your own sanity.
Chelsea are about to sign Leicester midfielder N'Golo Kanté for a fee of €35 million. (Le Parisien)
That could pave the way for Cesc Fàbregas to be reunited with José Mourinho at Manchester United. (Mirror)
Across town, Pep Guardiola would quite like to sign Everton's John Stones. (Guardian)
Atlético Madrid's Antoine Griezmann turned down interest from Paris Saint-Germain. (Eurosport)
Inter look set to sell several members of their squad, including Italy's Euro 2016 star Éder. (Football Italia)
One-time Brazilian wunderkind Ganso is on his way to Sevilla. (Football España)