Chris Coleman insists he is committed to Wales’ 2018 World Cup campaign after dismissing talk of him becoming Crystal Palace’s next manager.
Sam Allardyce’s shock departure as Palace boss on Tuesday inevitably led to Coleman being linked once again with his former club.
Wales manager Coleman made 190 appearances for the Eagles between 1991 and 1995 and has been linked with Palace in the past when the manager’s job has become vacant.
“I’d love to go back to the Palace,” Coleman said, jokingly referring to receiving his OBE at Buckingham Palace last week.
“I had a good time at the Palace. But I’m sure Prince Charles is not ready for me to go back just yet!”
Coleman clearly knew being asked about the Eagles vacancy was coming as he named a 26-man training squad ahead of the crunch World Cup qualifier in Serbia on June 11.
Wales – minus the suspended Gareth Bale – will head to the Vale do Lobo resort in Portugal next week before the squad is trimmed to 23 for the Belgrade clash.
And Coleman, who pledged this would be his final campaign after leading Wales to the semi-finals of Euro 2016 last summer, says his focus is on reaching next summer’s World Cup finals in Russia.
“All I’m thinking about is Serbia. I don’t think past that, I can’t afford to,” Coleman said.
“All I care about is Wales. I cannot go into a game of football thinking ‘if we lose’ because I’ve never thought like that.
“It’s about making sure we perform like we have been doing.
“Points-wise it’s not unbridgeable, performance-wise we’re not far off where we need to be – whether we’ve got Gareth or not.
“I can’t control what’s said about me outside of Wales, I only care about Wales and preparing properly.
“I’m looking forward to this game, that’s where my mind and my thinking is.”