By Harry Sykes
Gareth Southgate’s appointment as England manager has hit a snag due to his desire to appoint Chelsea’s Steve Holland as his number two, according to a report.
The Times claim that “several Premier League clubs” are “objecting to Holland being employed as [Southgate’s] assistant while staying on as a coach at Chelsea”.
It is said that there is a concern about a “conflict of interests”, in which Stamford Bridge assistant coach Holland “could potentially gain early access to information about injuries suffered by players at other Premier League clubs”.
The Times report that Chelsea believe Holland can combine both roles, and point out that the 46-year-old has been employed as Southgate’s number two with the England Under-21s without any complaints.
The twist in the Football Association’s search for a new manager comes following the end of Southgate’s four-match spell in interim charge of the national side.
The former Middlesbrough boss is widely expected to be promoted from England Under-21s manager after leading the senior team to a notable 3-0 World Cup qualifying win over Scotland last Friday.
Goals from Daniel Sturridge, Adam Lallana and Gary Cahill ensured that England remain top of their group and on course to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
England’s four matches, against Slovakia, Malta, Slovenia and home nation rivals Scotland, have yielded 10 points to place them two points ahead of nearest challengers Slovenia in Group F.
England followed up the win over Scotland with a 2-2 draw against Spain on Tuesday, when Lallana’s third goal in consecutive games for the national side was followed up by a Jamie Vardy strike.
Southgate has made it clear that he wants to be appointed the full-time England manager.
In other Chelsea news, the club have made a defender offer.