Sam Allardyce leaves Sunderland to become England manager

Sam Allardyce has left Sunderland to become the new England manager, the Football Association (FA) has announced.

Allardyce, 61, leaves Sunderland to take charge of England as they seek to rebuild after a disappointing Euro 2016 campaign that ended with a round-of-16 defeat to tournament debutants Iceland.

He will take charge for England's 2018 World Cup qualifiers, which begin with a trip to Slovakia on Sept. 4.

The FA is reported to have made the decision to appoint Allardyce after Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who has a year remaining on his contract, turned down the role.

Hull City manager Steve Bruce was also interviewed for the position, with Bournemouth's Eddie Howe and United States boss Jurgen Klinsmann said to have been the other leading candidates.

However, the FA's three-man selection panel unanimously chose Allardyce, who leaves Sunderland with immediate effect to take up the role.

"I am extremely honoured to be appointed England manager especially as it is no secret that this is the role I have always wanted," Allardyce told the FA's official website. "For me, it is absolutely the best job in English football.

"I will do everything I can to help England do well and give our nation the success our fans deserve. Above all, we have to make the people and the whole country proud.

"While my main focus will be on the senior team and getting positive results, I want to add my influence to the great work being done across the development teams at St. George's Park - a facility I have used with my previous clubs.

"I know we have talented, committed players and it is time for us to deliver."

FA chief executive Martin Glenn added: "Sam Allardyce is the right man for the England job.

"His excellent managerial credentials, including his ability to realise the potential of players and teams, develop a strong team ethos and embrace modern methods that enhance performance, made him the outstanding choice.

"That was underlined when we sat down to talk and we could not help but be energised by his personal perspective on England's future and how it complemented the extensive work that we are looking to build on at St. George's Park.

"Dan Ashworth, David Gill and I have carried out a thorough process in the last three weeks and ultimately we could not look beyond Sam as the ideal candidate."

Allardyce guided Sunderland to Premier League safety last season after replacing Dick Advocaat last October, and the club said in a statement on Wednesday evening that "they share in the anger and frustration of our supporters" after reports emerged that he was to take the England job.

The former Bolton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers and West Ham United boss, though, has long made clear his desire to manage England.

Allardyce had first been interviewed for the job after the 2006 World Cup, when Steve McClaren was ultimately selected to replace Sven-Goran Eriksson.

McClaren's tenure proved unsuccessful as England failed to qualify for Euro 2008, and Allardyce wrote in his autobiography last year that he "should have got" the job.

He added: "As I'm a better manager now than I was then, I believe I should be in the running whenever it comes round again. I had a shot at the England job, impressed in an interview but missed out to Steve McClaren.

"That's not vanity or being full of my own importance. My track record entitles me to be considered. Being a national team boss intrigues me. I'm ambitious and I still want the England job but I have less chance now even though I'm better equipped to do it now."

Allardyce had said while in charge of Blackburn in 2010 that he would be "more suited to [managing] Inter Milan or Real Madrid" and that he "would win the double or the league every time" if given the chance.

In 2014, he said his brief, unsuccessful stint in charge of Newcastle United in the 2007-08 season had proved a major setback to his hopes of being given a top job but said he hoped he would get the chance to succeed Hodgson.

"When the job does become vacant, you are talking about one of the most iconic jobs in international football, so you have to be on top of your game at that particular time," he said then.