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SportsSouthgate goes mum about England stay

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Southgate goes mum about England stay

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England manager Gareth Southgate has expressed enthusiasm for the upcoming 2026 World Cup, labeling it as an “amazing tournament.”

However, he has declined to confirm whether he will extend his tenure beyond this year.

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At 53 years old, Southgate’s contract is set to expire in December. Sources close to ESPN indicate that the Football Association is eager for him to continue as manager, potentially leading the Three Lions into the first-ever 48-team World Cup, to be hosted in the United States, Mexico, and Canada.

Further reports from ESPN suggest that Southgate is being seriously considered as a potential replacement for Erik ten Hag if Manchester United opts to part ways with the Dutch coach in the near future.

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Southgate previously deliberated over his future following England’s quarterfinal exit at the 2022 World Cup, ultimately reaching a decision to extend his contract 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.

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“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 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 owners 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. United travel to Norway to face Trondheim on July 15.

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. Everything is geared towards ‘how do we win this tournament.’

“We’re clearly one of the teams that can win it. There’s big expectation, which is completely understandable given what we’ve done over the last five, six years. We’re very comfortable with that expectation. It’s brilliant that our supporters are excited about the team but it’s pointless to me looking beyond that really.”

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