Gareth Southgate responds to Manchester United links

England manager Gareth Southgate has responded to reports linking him with the Manchester United job.

Speculation over who could replace Erik ten Hag in the Old Trafford dugout began to ramp up last week, with Southgate currently the 5/2 favourite with Betfair to take up the role.

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With Manchester United likely set to miss out on the top-four this season, Erik ten Hag’s future is very much up in the air.

New Manchester United co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe is believed to be a big fan of Southgate, who is out of contract with England at the end of 2024.

Southgate has repeatedly said he will delay any decision over his future until after Euro 2024 but if England fail to win the tournament, it is hard to see the former Middlesbrough boss staying on with the national side.

Regardless, Southgate was quick to play down the links to Old Trafford when quizzed on them recently: “I think there are two things. One is I’m the England manager. I’ve got one job, which is to try and deliver a European Championship and before that, two important games this week.

“The second thing is Manchester United have a manager and I always think it’s completely disrespectful when there’s any speculation about a manager that’s in place. I’m president of the League Managers’ Association so I don’t have any time for that sort of thing, really.

“My focus is the European Championship,” he added. “If we did something in terms of a contract before, everyone would say: ‘Why are you signing a contract before a Euros, where you’ve got to prove yourself?’.

“I’m certainly not going to speak to anybody else ahead of that, I never have. I’ve been here eight years in the job and I wouldn’t entertain speaking to anybody else while I’m in a job.”

Josh Barker

Josh Barker

Middlesbrough fan from the North East of England. @JoshBarker979 on Twitter.