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Sunderland have given the Football Association permission to speak to Sam Allardyce about the vacant England manager's job.
Allardyce is one of the leading contenders to succeed Roy Hodgson and is reported to have met with the FA on Tuesday.
The 61-year-old flew back to the UK from Sunderland's pre-season training camp in Austria before meeting with FA vice-chairman David Gill, FA technical director Dan Ashworth and chief executive Martin Glenn.
Sunderland have confirmed they were aware of the meeting and have urged the FA to make conclude the recruitment process as soon as possible to limit the disruption ahead of the new season.
"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," a statement from the club read.
"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."
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe, Hull boss Steve Bruce and Jurgen Klinsmann, the current US Soccer manager, have also been linked with the vacancy.