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.
Brooking, the Football Association's director of football development, told the London Evening Standard: "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."
He added: "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."