Welsh football’s governing body have ruled out the idea of an Englishman becoming the next Wales manager.
The Football Association of Wales hopes to appoint Chris Coleman’s successor before the draw for the new UEFA Nations League takes place in Switzerland on January 24.
“We have always favoured Welsh people because arguably the passion is there,” FAW chief executive Jonathan Ford told BBC Wales. “Welsh most definitely, foreign possibly, but definitely not English.”
Coleman parted company with the FAW last month following Wales’ failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia.
His assistant Osian Roberts and former Wales strikers Craig Bellamy and John Hartson have all expressed their interest in taking over.
Former Wales and Manchester United forward Ryan Giggs and Newport-born Tony Pulis – sacked as West Brom manager last month – have also been strongly linked with the post.
The last six Wales managers, including caretakers, have been Welsh, with Englishman Bobby Gould the last non-Welshman to hold the post between 1995 and 1999.
But whereas Ford’s comments disqualify any Englishman from being appointed, they would not prevent the likes of Thierry Henry or Marcel Desailly – who did their coaching badges in Wales – from becoming candidates.
Wales’ next games are at the China Cup at the end of March in a four-team tournament alongside the host nation, the Czech Republic and Uruguay.
“We have a little bit of time and we will be going through that process, a diligent process, to select our new manager, maybe towards the end of this year or the start of next year,” Ford said.
“We have the draw for the European Nations League at the end of January so it would be lovely to take a new manager across to that draw, so that gives you the first sort of deadline we are working to.
“Understandably a lot of people have expressed interest. These kinds of jobs advertise themselves. But I also have to go and see the relevant people. It’s a two-way street – people will assess us as much as we assess them and I would expect any prospective candidate to understand the system we have in place.”
Ford said there are no ill-feelings towards Coleman, who guided Wales to the semi-finals of Euro 2016.
Coleman cited “differences” with the FAW following his departure to take over at Sky Bet Championship side Sunderland.
“We are grown-up people. We both wanted it (an agreement) but it was not to be,” Ford added. “Ultimately you cannot make people do the job and we wish Chris the very best of luck in the future.
“He did a fantastic job. Historical, absolutely. Legendary, absolutely. We have a lot to be thankful for. It worked very well for Chris when we found him in the first place.
“He took over in very difficult times, he has left us in a very different place. We are delighted with what he has done and we wish him the very best of luck.”