England chiefs are set to turn their attention to Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers if Gareth Southgate steps down, according to reports. The Three Lions are still sweating over Southgate’s future following an agonising World Cup defeat to France, which halted a promising bid to go all the way in Qatar.
During his time as manager, Southgate has notched more tournament knockout wins than any other in England history. He oversaw a run to the semi-finals in Russia four years ago, the Euro 2020 final last year and a powerful dash to the quarters in Qatar.
Things could have been even better had England’s impressive display against Les Bleus translated into a victory. Goals for Aurelien Tchouameni and Olivier Giroud eventually decided it for Didier Deschamps’ side, and while Harry Kane scored once from the spot in a 2-1 loss, he could have scored another but fired over the target from 12 yards.
Southgate refused to confirm whether he would press on in the dugout or stand down, with Euro 2024 less than two years down the line. According to The Daily Star, FA chief Mark Bullingham is set to turn to Rodgers if Southgate walks.
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Gerrard was recently sacked following a lacklustre spell with Aston Villa and Lampard is steering Everton through a difficult period, although the jury is still out on whether he can be a long-term success at Goodison Park. Secondly, prime candidate Graham Potter is now unavailable after taking over a lucrative project with Chelsea.
The former Brighton manager was supposedly being lined up by the FA after his sterling work on the south coast, but having taken over at Stamford Bridge as recently as September, prospects of him walking away from the Premier League heavyweights appear slim.
Finally, like Potter, Eddie Howe is a manager held in high esteem by the FA, but his momentum with Newcastle United makes a hasty exit from St James’ Park look like a long shot. The Magpies are currently third in the Premier League and Howe has an exciting opportunity to spend at will, inside Financial Fair Play limits, over the coming transfer windows.
With two prime candidates presumably off-limits and two hopefuls deemed to have missed the cut, Rodgers could quickly emerge as a front-runner. Southgate is under contract until 2024 but talks with Bullingham are due to take place after the New Year.