Football: Wenger does not rule out England job after Arsenal deal ends

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger reacts during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Norwich City on April 30, 2016.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger reacts during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Norwich City on April 30, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

(REUTERS) - Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is open to managing the England football team but will not break his current contract with the Premier League club.

The Frenchman, who has one year remaining on his current deal with the Gunners, was linked by the British media to replace Roy Hodgson after England's round-of-16 exit against Iceland at Euro 2016.

A three-man panel of the Football Association staff began the job of finding Hodgson's successor last month.

"Could I manage England? Why not? I would never rule that out, but I am happy and focused in club football," Wenger told the British media.

"I have one more year to go with Arsenal and I have been with them for a long time.

"I have always respected all my contracts and will continue to do that. What will I do after that? Honestly, I don't know.

"England is my second country. I was absolutely on my knees when England went out against Iceland."

Wenger, who led Arsenal to second place in the league table last season, took over as manager in 1996 and has led them to a top-four finish in every season since.

England's Under-21 manager Gareth Southgate, the bookmakers' favourite to be the new England manager, was tipped to take over on a temporary basis but is apparently not interested in the job.

According to the local media, Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce will be interviewed for the job this week while US head coach Juergen Klinsmann's name is also doing the rounds.