Football Association general secretary Alex Horne has said Harry Redknapp will be a strong contender to replace Fabio Capello as England manager when the Italian leaves his post.
Capello is due to depart as England boss following the conclusion of the country's Euro 2012 campaign and the FA had previously stated a preference for an English manager to be his replacement.
While Horne insists a foreign coach - who would become the third in England's history following Capello and Sven-Goran Eriksson - could yet secure the job, he has hinted that Redknapp is a leading contender after enjoying success in Europe with Tottenham this season.
"Harry Redknapp is a great manager," Horne told the BBC. "Tottenham are playing great football and to qualify well for the Champions League from a position of being fourth favourites in the group is huge testimony to that. I would expect Harry to make a long list. It may not be a very long long list.
"He's [Capello] there till 2012 which gives me 18, 19 months to prepare for that process. It is not a policy decision that they would be English. It is an absolute preference for certain individuals. It is not yet a board decision.
"We thought about this long and hard when we got Fabio Capello. We got the right man for the job and that is what we will do again. It is not a policy decision that they will definitely be English. I will be finalising the selection process criteria during the first few months of next year for internal discussion."
Redknapp later said he would find the job very difficult to reject but that it would depend on his circumstances at the time.
He told Talksport: "You never know. Honestly, I don't go home and think I want to be manager of England. All I've said is, if an English guy gets offered it, it would be hard to turn it down.
"I'm very happy doing what I'm doing, managing Tottenham. In two years' time, who knows? You can't tell. I may be struggling, somebody else is going to come and do well.
"It can all change. Two years is a long time in your life and certainly it's an awful long time in football.
"I don't even look that far ahead. I could be managing Poole Town or someone in two years. Who knows? It's difficult to know."