Sky Sports understands Roy Hodgson will have a formal interview for the England manager's job on Monday after the Football Association was granted permission to speak to the West Brom head coach.
Harry Redknapp has been the long-term favourite to succeed Fabio Capello, who resigned in February, but there has yet to be an official approach for the Tottenham boss.
Instead, the FA's preference has been to ask for discussions with apparent No.1 candidate Hodgson and the governing body will over the next 24 hours step up its recruitment plans after receiving the green-light from West Brom chairman Jeremy Peace.
FA chairman David Bernstein said: "I'm grateful to Jeremy and all at West Bromwich Albion for their co-operation in allowing us to approach Roy, who I have since spoken with.
"Roy is the only manager we have approached and we remain on course to make an appointment within the timescale we set out soon after Fabio Capello's departure.
"Further conversations will now take place with Roy and my Club England colleagues before any further announcements can be made."
The FA was always expected to act before the end of the Premier League season as it searches for a new England boss before this summer's European Championship in Poland and Ukraine.
A bid for talks with Redknapp may come at some point in the future, but the first move for Hodgson would imply he is the leading target and some reports have stated he could be appointed within the next week.
The 64-year-old will be out of contract at West Brom in the summer, with talks over an extension having taken place, while it would prove an expensive move in compensation to relieve Redknapp from his deal at Tottenham.
Hodgson endured a dreadful period in charge of Liverpool between the summer of 2010 and the January of 2011 when his reputation was significantly damaged.
But having also managed at international level with Finland and United Arab Emirates, Hodgson, who can list Inter Milan among his club jobs and also guided Fulham to the 2010 Europa League final, is well respected by fellow coaches.
Hodgson has earned praise for the job he has done at West Brom since taking charge in February 2011 and Saturday's draw with Aston Villa left the club in the top half of the Premier League.
Peace said in a statement on West Brom's official website: "Roy has done a fantastic job over the past 15 months and the fact the FA want 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 this 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 Barclays Premier League club.
"Everyone here has an excellent working relationship with him and he is immensely popular with our supporters."
Is the FA right to make its first move for Roy Hodgson?