Wales boss Chris Coleman has dismissed suggestions that he could become the next England manager.
Coleman’s stock has soared as Wales have marched to the semi-finals of Euro 2016, while England’s embarrassment at losing to Iceland and failing to get beyond the last 16 has left them looking for a managerial successor to Roy Hodgson.
The 46-year-old former Fulham boss signed a new two-year deal on the eve of the tournament to take in Wales’ 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign, but his Wales wage, understood to be around £220,000 (€260,000) per year, is minuscule in comparison to the reported £3.5m salary that the Football Association paid Hodgson towards the end of his four-year England reign.
FA chief executive Martin Glenn has said England will go for “the best person, not necessarily the best Englishman” for the job, but Coleman — in charge of the first British team to reach the last four of a major tournament in 20 years — laughed off suggestions that he could be a candidate to succeed Hodgson.
“It’s not something I think I would get offered, but I would never rule it in, to be honest,” said Coleman. “Roy has lost his job so England will search again, but it’s not something that would ever enter my thinking. I’m a Welshman through and through and, at international football, it was only Wales, and it would only ever be Wales.”
As well as managing Fulham and Coventry, Coleman has also worked abroad in Spain and Greece. He had ill-fated spells at Real Sociedad and Greek club Larissa, but those experiences have not dissuaded him from managing abroad again in the future.
“I think my next job after Wales, whenever that is, will be abroad,” said Coleman.
“I quite fancy the chance of going abroad again, because I think that’s my best chance of managing in the Champions League. When you’re talking about Champions League football in the Premier League, you’re talking about the top clubs - the massive clubs.
“It’s not something I think I’d get linked with, so my best chance of managing Champions League football would be abroad. It’s an ambition of mine. But to manage another country? No, I wouldn’t.”
Just five days after beating Belgium, the world’s second-ranked team, 3-1 in the quarter-final, Wales are preparing for the biggest game in the country’s football history.
But Coleman insists there is no pressure on his side ahead of their semi-final date with Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal in Lyon on Wednesday. Coleman has labelled Portugal favourites and says the pressure is on the big football nations to perform at this tournament.
“The bigger countries have got to get into the quarter-finals, semi-finals, final,” said Coleman. “We didn’t. I thought we had a good chance of getting to the quarter-final, but I never came out and said to the players, ‘that’s what we can do.’
“I’ve not really got any interest in other countries, whether that’s England, Spain or whoever. My interest is Wales and we just take it game by game.”
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