The FA has revealed the new England manager will not be appointed before the "back end of the season".
England have been without a manager since Fabio Capello's surprise resignation on February 8, with England Under-21 boss Stuart Pearce acting as caretaker for the 3-2 home defeat to Netherlands on Wednesday.
Pearce has said he would be happy to step in at Euro 2012 if required, but it is understood the FA is ideally looking to appoint Jose Mourinho, Harry Redknapp, Arsene Wenger or Pep Guardiola.
"We've got a list. Long, short... there's definitely a list," FA general secretary Alex Horne said as he arrived at the International FA Board meeting in Bagshot.
"It's a back-end-of-the-season decision for us. "We recognise that a lot of the managers on the list are employed and we don't want to interrupt anyone's season. We're not rushing this and we are expecting something at the back end of the season."
Horne feels there is no significant problem with appointing a manager just weeks before the start of Euro 2012 in June. "That's perfectly realistic," he said. "We've got all of our operational plans in place. We can deliver a squad into Poland so it is perfectly possible."
ESPN has been informed by sources outside of the selection committee that Real Madrid boss Mourinho is being considered by the FA and could be a frontrunner for the job. There is only an outside chance that they could land the former Chelsea manager, who has intimated that he will quit Real Madrid in the summer and wants to relocate back to London.
The four-man selection committee made up of Horne, chairman David Bernstein, Club England managing director Adrian Bevington and Sir Trevor Brooking, the FA's Director of Football Development are refusing briefings on the matter, which they want to mothball until May.
The FA had previously attempted to appoint Mourinho following the sacking of Steve McClaren. ESPN understands the Portuguese had indicated through third parties that he would be interested in the job at that time, but ultimately rejected the offer of an interview, suggesting the time wasn't right for him to give up day-to-day management at club level.
It remains to be seen whether his stance has changed. All else being equal, it has always been the case that the FA would prefer an Englishman, which would still leave Redknapp in pole position, but it may prove more cost-effective to sign Mourinho than try to sort out a compensation package with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy. West Brom manager Roy Hodgson is also on the shortlist, and considered the safe pair of hands. Hodgson, unlike Redknapp, also offers vast international experience.