13 May 2024

Gareth Southgate only thinking about England amid Manchester United links

13 May 2024

England boss Gareth Southgate insists his focus remains on this summer’s European Championships amid links to Manchester United.

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.

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.

“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.”

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.”

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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