WILL Still wants to "come home" to England, and while the Premier League is his dream, the highly-rated Reims boss would be open to the idea of taking a job in the Championship.

Still's admission is bound to prick the ears of Sunderland chiefs, who wanted the 31-year-old to replace Tony Mowbray in December before Michael Beale's appointment, and are now assessing their options before making a long-term decision on the head coach position in the summer.

Mike Dodds will remain in caretaker charge between now and the end of the season and, given he's made clear his own ambitions to move into management, is likely to see this period as an audition to be given the job on a full-time basis. But Sunderland bosses will weigh up all of their options before finalising their summer decision, with the next permanent appointment crucial on the back of Beale's problematic short tenure.


Sunderland spoke to Still's representatives after Mowbray's exit and while an agreement couldn't be reached at that stage, he is still admired by Kyril Louis-Dreyfus and Kristjaan Speakman.

And he wants his next job to be in England.

“It’s just home,” Still told the Athletic.

“I want to come home. I’ve been abroad all my life, and I’ve been working in an environment that isn’t quite mine all my life. And I just want to come home.

“I would work for a Championship team without a problem. What I’ve now understood, I’ve now realised, is how important people are. And how important finding the right place to be is going to be for my career. And people who understand the way I work, because I’m a bit different. I’m a bit odd sometimes.

“But if there’s a Championship club that’s ambitious, that wants to work in the right way and be open and honest about things, and really try and push to get somewhere, then I would love to do that.

“Obviously, the Premier League is the ultimate dream for any manager in the world. I’m not in a rush, either. It’s not that, if I come to England, I have to go to the Premier League, or I have to go to this or that club. If something fits then it fits, and I’d be just as happy doing that.

“I’ve never really had a career plan. I’ve never set a timing on anything. I’ve just waited for opportunities to come up; see how it feels, see what it’s like.”

Still admitted there was contact between Sunderland and his representatives in December but hit back at claims in France that was he was trying to force his way out of Reims.

“It was a lot of noise for something that never really happened,” he said of the previous Sunderland links.

“There has been interest, I’m not going to lie about it. I’d rather be open and honest, and I think I was. We’ve had interest. People have wanted to talk to us. This is the reality of the situation.

“It went from an interest from clubs to, ‘Will Still is being arrogant and wants to leave Reims who’ve given him this amazing opportunity.’ I was like, ‘No I don’t. I’m still just me. Any manager in the world would have listened to the offer. If someone offered you a better job, better life, you’d listen. Any human being would listen.’ But it was just that the wrong story got told. It was ‘Will wants to leave, he’s fed up of Reims, he’s this and that…’ Load of s**t.”