Steve McClaren can be sacked under a cut-price compensation deal next month thanks to a get-out clause the FA board inserted in his contract, reports the Daily Mail.
McClaren could go after the Croatia game on November 21 if, as expected, England fail to qualify for Euro 2008.
Although his deal was initially announced as a four-year contract, members of the FA board insisted on a break clause in the summer of 2008, following the fiasco that saw Sven Goran Eriksson paid about £5 million in compensation.
McClaren is entitled to a year's salary as pay-off - about £2.5m. But the FA would only pay him up until the break clause next summer, reducing that to about £1.4m.
And should McClaren get another job before next June, the FA would only have to make up any shortfall compared with his England salary.
FA director of football development Sir Trevor Brooking is poised to stand in as caretaker. That would allow FA chief executive Brian Barwick, who himself is under pressure having appointed McClaren in shambolic circumstances, to spend the spring searching for a successor.