Eriksson 'flattered' by FA contract offer

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The Independent Football

The England coach, Sven Goran Eriksson, is "flattered" after being offered a new four-year contract by the Football Association - but no talks on the deal have been scheduled.

Eriksson's agent, Athole Still, confirmed that the Swede is disappointed the offer has been made public, but is happy that his success in guiding England to Euro 2004 has been recognised. "Sven is flattered by the offer," Still said. "Anybody would be flattered if their employer came and offered them a contract extension to show a reaction to the success they have had."

The FA wants Eriksson to sign the deal, worth a reported £14m, to take him to the end of the 2008 European Championship. But the Swede has no plans as yet to sit down and discuss the offer. Still added: "There have been no discussions between Sven and the FA or Sven and myself on this. I haven't a clue when it might happen, but obviously it will in due course. Obviously the contract will now be discussed at every Sven news conference, and I think that was the main reason for the initial disappointment."

Still said Eriksson is delighted with England's progress on the field and that he has a good relationship with the FA, despite recent controversies surrounding Rio Ferdinand and Alan Smith. "He is absolutely delighted with the way the England team is performing, but, as usual, people want to kick up a fuss over this latest development," Still said.

"I think his relationship with the FA is very good. Chief executive Mark Palios is very new, and I don't think Sven knows him particularly well yet. But he gets on extremely well with people at the FA, particularly David Davies."

The FA's head of media relations, Adrian Bevington, said: "There is no deadline for when an agreement has to be reached, because Sven is already under contract until the summer of 2006."

The new £757m Wembley Stadium is on schedule to open early in spring 2006. Building work is five weeks ahead of schedule and the FA is confident that the stadium will open earlier than planned.

An FA spokesman said: "The first match scheduled to take place at Wembley is the 2006 FA Cup final. But, with work ahead of schedule, it's likely that the stadium will be completed early in 2006, meaning that we're hopeful that it will actually open with an England game."

Brazil, Argentina or Germany have been touted as England's most likely potential opponents.