JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - U.S. national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann said that despite rumors to the contrary, the English FA never contacted him about taking over as manager when the post was vacated by Roy Hodgson after Euro 2016 earlier this summer.
In the last several months, Klinsmann has been linked with several managerial posts, including those of English Premier League sides Everton and Southampton. While Klinsmann himself stayed quiet with regard to those reports, a source close to the U.S. manager let it be known that there was no truth to them. But with the England job there was silence from Klinsmann and those around him.
When asked by ESPN FC about whether the rumors at the time linking him with the England job were true, Klinsmann delivered a firm, "No" and said the English FA didn't reach out to him about the post.
As for why he didn't refute the rumors, Klinsmann said at a certain point, he grew tired of having to deny rumor after rumor.
"If I deny this, now the next rumor comes, and then I deny the next rumor and the next one," Klinsmann said in a wide-ranging interview. "I just said to [US men's national team press officer Michael Kammarman], 'I'm out of this. I'm not commenting on anything here because it doesn't really matter anyway.'"
The Guardian reported that Klinsmann was at one point "in discussions" with the English FA, though the report relied heavily on comments from Klinsmann's long-time friend Oliver Bierhoff that were sufficiently ambiguous. A later report from The Independent stated that the English FA planned to interview Klinsmann, though it noted that Sam Allardyce -- who ultimately landed the job -- was the favorite.
U.S. Soccer confirmed at the time that the FA hadn't asked permission to talk to Klinsmann, as is customary, at least when talks have advanced to a certain stage. Klinsmann insisted his commitment to the U.S. program has been unwavering.
"My message since I took over this role, since five years ago, to all of them -- if it's clubs or countries -- is, 'I'm very, very privileged to have this role, and I feel very honored, and I will respect my contract which goes until Russia [at the 2018 World Cup] and then we will see.'
"But I knew after this Copa America that there will be some rumors coming in I just decided that I would take myself out of everything for a couple of weeks."
Klinsmann secured a contract extension six months before the 2014 World Cup, a move that raised plenty of eyebrows at the time. But when asked if he wanted to coach the U.S. team beyond the 2018 World Cup, Klinsmann said: "That depends on the results," and added that he hadn't held any discussions in that regard with U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati or CEO/Secretary General Dan Flynn.
During the Copa America Centenario, Gulati criticized Klinsmann about the team's results in World Cup qualifying, which included a defeat to Guatemala, and the 2015 Gold Cup where the U.S. finished fourth, leading to speculation that Klinsmann's job might be in jeopardy. The U.S. ultimately finished a highly respectable fourth at the Copa America, thus easing much of the pressure on Klinsmann.
"It depends on how things develop over the next two years," said Klinsmann about his future with the U.S. team. "So there's no hurry for deciding anything for either side, Sunil and myself."