Bolton chairman and FA board member Phil Gartside has backed Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp to become the next England manager.
Redknapp has been the frontrunner for the national job since Fabio Capello resigned in February, but his chances have recently been dented by Spurs' poor run of form.
However, in an interview with BBC World, Gartside said the 65-year-old would be an “outstanding England manager” adding that he is “a good motivator with a winning mentality”.
The job of choosing Capello’s successor falls to a four-person panel: chairman David Bernstein, general secretary Alex Horne, director of football development Sir Trevor Brooking, and Club England managing director Adrian Bevington.
But Gartside is an influential figure at the FA and part of the 14-person board, so his words will not go unnoticed.
He said that he could “understand the hype” about the former Southampton and Portsmouth boss, and added he had “done amazingly” to guide Spurs to the Champions League last season before keeping them in the hunt for a place in Europe’s elite club tournament this year.
The FA previously announced that it would wait until near the end of the league season before making a decision so that no club’s fortunes were affected.
However, with only a few weeks between the season’s climax and the start of Euro 2012, it is expected that an approach will be made before the end of the month.