Sir Trevor Brooking feels there is no guarantee Fabio Capello's successor will be English.
The Italian has indicated he will stand down at the end of his current contract, which expires after the 2012 European Championship.
Debate has again raged as to just who should step into what is arguably the most difficult job in world football - which proved too much for previous home-grown incumbents Kevin Keegan and Steve McClaren.
The likes of Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp, current Under-21s coach Stuart Pearce, Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson and former Northern Ireland midfielder Martin O'Neill have all been touted as potential successors.
However, Brooking, the Football Association's director of football development, admits making a home-grown appointment may not be so straightforward.
"I think the general view is 'let's see what happens in the next 18 or 21 months' - but, come the summer of 2012, we would like to go English," Brooking said in the London Evening Standard.
"We have got to see what English people are available.
"There are one or two who have got good club roles, so you could get to the situation where you identify a person, but he is locked into two years on a four-year deal with massive compensation.
"He can't unlock himself. Suddenly your three best English candidates might not be available."
Following their World Cup debacle, Capello's England have stormed to impressive victories over Bulgaria and Switzerland to get their qualification campaign for the European Championships off to a flying start.
However, with the likes of Jermain Defoe, Bobby Zamora, Kieran Gibbs, Joleon Lescott and Michael Carrick all carrying injuries which put their participation in doubt for the clash against Montenegro at Wembley on October 12, Capello could be forced to again look at what other options are available to supplement his squad.
Much is always made of the best way to school the next generation, with Adam Johnson the latest impressive graduate from the Under-21s side to make his mark in the senior squad.
The FA are set to host a two-day seminar in Daventry next week where the thorny issues of grass-roots football will be debated.
"In August, the [FA] Board asked Alex Horne, the general secretary, to make recommendations as to how we should develop better young English players," Brooking said.
"We have invited the Premier League, the Football League, the League Managers' Association, the Professional Footballers' Association and our own coaches to say where they think we can improve."
Brooking continued: "We [England] have under-invested in coaching and player development, less than 2% of our budget, whereas the bigger countries invest in double figures or more.
"The Germans have invested 50million euros in youth development in each of the last 10 years. Spain are reaping the benefits of the previous 10 or 15 years' investment in young player development. We have not done that. So I've asked Alex to look at the budgets to see if there's money we can identify.
"We have invited our main board and professional game board members. They are decision makers so, if and when they get asked 'Is there any money available?' they will understand what we are trying to do."
Brooking hopes the much-maligned National Football Centre at Burton will be developed as hoped.
"Burton is due to go to the board in the next couple of months. Everything is in place including planning permission. In the end, it'll be a funding decision," he said.
"The FA have invested £20m, it will need another £60m or £70m. At the moment, it's got as good a chance as it's ever had."
Brooking, though, feels there is a need for cultural change in the way England approaches its national game.
The former West Ham and England forward, 61, said: "The problem is the intensity of the must-win attitude. The desire to win at every step, rather than develop talent, is a fundamental fault-line in our game.
"A lot of the games at youth level are just not beneficial to development. The quality of the football is poor and the youngsters do not benefit."
Brooking added: "The problem is that passion alone is not enough.
"Other countries have caught up with us. They are also physically strong and technically better. We have to catch up with them technically. Let's face it - after 44 years we haven't won anything."
Despite the positive start by England this season, Brooking insisted: "After this summer, I'd like to dampen enthusiasm.
"Euro 2012 will be tough, so will the 2014 World Cup because it's in Brazil, no Europeans are likely to win.
"I would like to say, let's win the bidding in December to host 2018, that's our target."Reuse content