Southgate to Man Utd? England manager reveals only ‘focus’ as Ten Hag sack talk rumbles on

Jason Soutar
Man Utd: Gareth Southgate is linked with replacing Erik ten Hag
Gareth Southgate is linked with replacing Erik ten Hag at Man Utd

England manager Gareth Southgate is only focusing on the European Championships, not replacing Erik ten Hag as Manchester United manager.

The 53-year-old will lead England at Euro 2024 in Germany in what could be his fourth and final tournament in charge of the national team.

Southgate’s Football Association contract expires in December and he is reportedly a candidate for Manchester United should they decide to part company with under-fire manager Erik ten Hag – who is the favourite to be the next Premier League manager sacked.

However, when asked how he felt about being a favourite for the United job in an interview with ITV News, the England boss insisted he is not thinking beyond this summer.

“I’m not a big gambling man and bookies, they can make their odds but it’s not conversations that’s been had with me,” Southgate told ITV News when asked about rumours linking him with the Manchester United job.

“I’ve got one thing to focus on. That’s having as successful a tournament with England as possible. Everything else outside of that is a complete irrelevance to me.”

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Southgate has been in charge of the England senior team since 2016 having previously managed the under-21 side.

He has club football experience under his belt after spending three years in charge of Middlesbrough from 2006 but is not prepared to think about returning to day-to-day coaching at this stage.

Southgate added: “If I start talking about that, then I’m already distracted from what I’m doing.

“So, I think the country would expect that my focus is on England, and rightly so it is.

“We’ve had three tournaments where we’ve taken the public on a brilliant ride. I think we know that and I know that you’ve got that desire to go that one step further and this is a brilliant opportunity for us to do that.”

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Southgate’s time in charge of England has seen them make a first World Cup semi-final appearance since 1990 at the 2018 tournament in Russia and they reached a first Euro final at Wembley in 2021.

Italy beat Southgate’s side in a penalty shootout on that occasion and England will be aiming to go one step further in Germany this summer.

England begin their campaign against Serbia at the Arena AufSchalke on June 16 before facing Denmark and Slovenia in their remaining Group C fixtures.

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