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I will join Man united on one condition – Gareth Southgate makes final decision on future after Man United insider ‘reveals’ next manager



I will join Man united on one condition – Gareth Southgate makes final decision on future after Man United insider ‘reveals’ next manager

Manchester United co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe wants to make Gareth Southgate the club’s next manager if they decide to sack Erik ten Hag at the end of the season

Gareth Southgate has played down links to Manchester United, insisting that his full focus is on leading England at Euro 2024.

The Three Lions boss has been heavily tipped to replace Erik ten Hag as United manager this summer. Southgate, 53, is reported to be United co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s No.1 target if the club decide to sack Ten Hag following a calamitous season in which they could still win the FA Cup.

Southgate is out contract in December, although the Football Association want the 53-year-old to extend his stay which began in late 2016. United’s appointment would have to come after the European Championship in June and July, with England among the favourites to win the tournament for the first time.

In a new interview with BBC Sport, Southgate addressed the links to United by saying: “There will always be speculation about managers, because if you lose a couple of games, you’re in trouble – you win a couple of games and it is a different agenda.

“But for me, it [Euro 2024] is a brilliant opportunity. We’re looking forward to the tournament. My focus is on how do we go a step further than we went in the last Euros [when England were beaten on penalties in the final by Italy].”

The ex-Middlesbrough boss has notably worked alongside former FA chief Dan Ashworth, who’s United’s top choice to become their new sporting director, although he remains on gardening leave at Newcastle.

Southgate went on to insist that the talk surrounding his future won’t be a distraction during the Euros, adding: “Well, for me, it’s not an issue and never has been.

“I have to deliver a successful tournament for England and there’s enough work involved in that. I think everybody would expect that’s where my focus should be.”

His comments come after ex-Liverpool midfielder Jason McAteer claimed a current United player hinted to him that Southgate would be named the club’s next manager. Outgoing Bayern Munich boss Thomas Tuchel has also been linked with the position.

Ten Hag, though, believes that it would be “common sense” for him to be given a third season in charge – unlike Dutch compatriot Louis van Gaal, who was sacked by United eight years ago shortly after winning the FA Cup final, having also missed out on the Champions League. “I think they (the United hierarchy) have common sense,” Ten Hag said on Friday.

“They see when you have 32 different backlines, when you lose eight centre-backs, if they see we use 13 partnerships at centre-halves. When they see we don’t have a left full-back, when we have so many injuries, they know that will have a negative impact on results.

“Of course we are not happy, but we know the reasons why we are underperforming in the ranking now and that is because of the injuries. But, still, we are still fighting and it’s huge the FA Cup final, so we are very happy to be there. It can still be a highlight for this season.

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