Ghana

Southgate Refuses To Confirm England Stay

Gareth Southgate

 

England manager, Gareth Southgate, said the 2026 World Cup will be an “amazing tournament” but refused to confirm whether he will remain in his post beyond this year.

The 53-year-old’s contract expires in December, and sources told ESPN that the Football Association are keen for Southgate to remain as manager and reach a decade in charge by leading the Three Lions into the first 48-team World Cup, to be held in the United States, Mexico and Canada.

Sources told ESPN that Southgate is under serious consideration to replace Erik ten Hag should Manchester United decide to sack the Dutch coach in the coming weeks.

Southgate agonised over his future following England’s quarterfinal exit to France at the 2022 World Cup before eventually agreeing to a new deal beyond this summer’s European Championship in Germany.

In an exclusive interview with ESPN, Southgate said, “I think ’26 will be an amazing World Cup. I’m old enough to remember ’94 [in the U.S.] I didn’t go and obviously England didn’t qualify.

“But you know that any sporting event the U.S. are involved in hosting — and clearly Mexico ’86 I also remember — that will be an amazing tournament, which will be a different sort of challenge.

“If you think about the travel and the time zones compared to the last World Cup, it couldn’t be more different. Temperature changes, altitude and everything else that you could face. So that would also be an amazing tournament.”

Pushed on whether it would tempt him to stay on, Southgate said: “That will depend on playing well, getting results and wanting to stay. Any number of things would be wrapped up in that. But that’s for after this summer, really.”

There are potential logistical problems if Manchester United do try to appoint Southgate this summer. United would ideally want their new manager in early to oversee what is expected to be a summer of significant change under new minority owner INEOS.

However, Southgate has previously branded speculation linking him with the United job as “completely disrespectful” and is adamant he won’t consider his options until after Euro 2024, the final of which takes place on July 14.

When asked whether he believes he will be in management next season or whether he would need a break from the game if he left England, Southgate said: “I don’t have any vision of what next year will look like because everything for me depends on this summer.