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England would reject USWNT attempt to poach Sarina Wiegman

(Mark Metcalfe/FIFA via Getty Images)

The England women’s national team is not about to let Sarina Wiegman slip through its fingers.

The English Football Association will reject any approach from rival countries interested in the manager, CEO Mark Bullingham said Thursday on the heels of reported interest from the United States. The USWNT is in search of a new head coach after Vlatko Andonovski’s resignation.

Wiegman has guided England to its first Women’s World Cup final, four years after she led the Netherlands to the 2019 final against the USWNT. While she fell short of the title in 2019, she could win it all with the Lionesses, who will face Spain at 6 a.m. ET Sunday in the championship match.

For Wiegman, the World Cup final marks her fourth consecutive trip to a major tournament final. She won the 2017 Euros with the Netherlands, then guided the team to the 2019 World Cup final before joining England, with whom she won last summer’s Euros.

Wiegman’s contract with England runs through 2025. But the FA has interest in extending that deal.

“We’ve seen lots of rumors, and look, she is a special talent,” Bullingham said. “We know that. From our side, she’s obviously contracted through until 2025. We think she’s doing a great job.

“We’re obviously huge supporters of her and I think hopefully she feels the same way. So from our side, she’s someone we’d like to have with us for a very long time.”

And Bullingham said the FA would “100%” reject any approach from competing teams for Wiegman, noting that it’s “not about money.”

“We are very, very happy with her and we feel she is happy,” he said.

In fact, the FA is so happy with Wiegman that they would consider the Dutch coach as a candidate to take over their men’s side if the opportunity arose – and if she would be interested.

“People always say it is the best man for the job or the best Englishman,” Bullingham said Thursday. “Why does it have to be a man? I think our answer is always: ‘It’s the best person for the job.’ We think Sarina is doing a great job and hope she continues doing it for a long time. I think Sarina could do anything she wants in football.

“If at some point in the future she decides she wants to move into the men’s game, that would be a really interesting discussion, but that’s for her, right? I don’t think we should view it as a step up. If she decides at some point in the future to go in a different direction, I think she’s perfectly capable of that.”