'Shocked' Hodgson begins England talks

West Brom boss prepared to play hardball as formal negotiations with four-man FA committee begin just a week after he thought his chances of replacing Fabio Capello had gone
By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent

Roy Hodgson is preparing for tough negotiations with the Football Association on Monday as he begins talks about becoming the new England manager following the governing body’s snub to Harry Redknapp.

Hodgson has told friends that he was surprised to have jumped to the top of the FA’s shortlist, with West Brom receiving an approach following their goalless home draw against Aston Villa on Saturday.

“As late as last week he thought his chance to manage England had gone,” a source told Goal.com. “He was quite shocked. He thought Harry would get the job.”

Hodgson briefly spoke to FA chairman David Bernstein at the Hawthorns and a formal discussion will take place at a secret location on Monday with Bernstein, FA director of football development Sir Trevor Brooking, Alex Horne, the FA general secretary, and Adrian Bevington, Club England's managing director.
1/7 Roy Hodgson is now 1/7 with Paddy Power to be named as the next England manager.

Talks will focus on the length and terms of the deal, with the FA keen to make a long-term appointment with the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and even the 2016 European Championships in France in mind.

Hodgson is expected to be offered around half of the £6 million-a-year deal received by Fabio Capello, who resigned from the post in early February.

The 64-year-old would complete the season at the Hawthorns before turning his attention to England ahead of Euro 2012.

The FA contacted West Brom chairman Jeremy Peace, who granted permission for them to formally interview Hodgson. The governing body are insistent that they have not approached any other manager.

The FA’s snub to long-time favourite Redknapp has come as a surprise not only to the former Liverpool boss and most of the football-supporting English public but to the man himself and his employers, Tottenham.

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Redknapp is now fighting for his Spurs future following a calamitous run of results that, coupled with the availability of the England job, had led chairman Daniel Levy to abandon talks over a new contract and begin preparations to find a new manager.

Redknapp was quoted on Monday as saying: “Good luck to Roy. I can see my future at Tottenham and I would like to stay. But that is down to the chairman.”

Although Hodgson has made no secret of the fact that he wanted to succeed Capello, it is understood that Hodgson will not immediately jump into the FA’s arms.

A key factor in the West Brom manager’s thinking could be whether he faces a public — and media — backlash over the approach especially as Redknapp had assumed the mantle of the ‘people’s choice’. The FA are prepared for a hostile response from some quarters.
The FA will want Hodgson in place immediately after West Brom’s final league game of the season at home to Arsenal on May 13 so he can name and prepare a 23-man squad for two forthcoming friendlies against Norway and Belgium, plus the Euro 2012 finals in which England face Sweden, France and Ukraine in Group D.

Hodgson does not usually demand an extensive back-room staff and will probably be expected to work with the current caretaker Stuart Pearce.
Last night Bernstein said, in a statement: “Roy is the only manager we have approached and we remain on course to make an appointment within the timescale we set out. Further conversations will now take place with Roy.”

Selecting Hodgson - whose current contract at West Brom ends on June 30 - would be a far cheaper option than hiring Redknapp, with his contract at Spurs containing complicated compensation clauses that could rise to £10m should they take him from White Hart Lane.
Peace said on Sunday night he hoped that Hodgson would remain at the Hawthorns: “Roy has done a fantastic job over the past 15 months and the fact that the FA wants to discuss the England role with him is testament to that. Roy is a proud Englishman and we can understand why he wants to speak to the FA about the highly prestigious managerial position.
“However, we have emphasised to Roy how much we would like him to remain as our head coach and continue his major contribution to our project at the Hawthorns as we look to establish ourselves as a Premier League club.
"Everyone here has an excellent working relationship with him and he is immensely popular with our supporters.”

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