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Southgate Dismisses Manchester United Speculation, Focuses on England Duties

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England manager Gareth Southgate has addressed speculation linking him to the managerial position at Manchester United, branding it “completely disrespectful” to current boss Erik ten Hag.

Southgate emphasized his commitment to England and stated he will not engage with any interested parties until after Euro 2024.

Southgate, who has led the Three Lions since 2016, revealed that his contract expires in December and previously contemplated stepping down after England’s defeat to France in the quarterfinals of the 2022 World Cup.

ESPN reported earlier this month that Southgate is being considered as a potential replacement for Ten Hag at Manchester United, as part-owners Ineos seek to revamp the club’s leadership.

Addressing the speculation ahead of England’s friendly against Brazil, Southgate emphasized his focus on his current role and criticized discussions about replacing a sitting manager. He reiterated his commitment to the European Championship and stated his reluctance to engage in discussions about his future until after the tournament.

Despite sources indicating the Football Association’s desire for Southgate to continue until the 2026 World Cup, the manager has remained firm in his stance to delay any decisions about his future.

Regarding England’s upcoming matches, Southgate confirmed the absence of Harry Kane, Cole Palmer, and Jordan Henderson due to injury, with Kane also doubtful for the Belgium game. He declined to reveal who would lead England’s attack in Kane’s absence, suggesting that Ollie Watkins and Ivan Toney are vying for a spot on the squad plane to Germany.

Southgate acknowledged the talent and form of both players, highlighting their contributions for their clubs and during their time with the national team. He emphasized the importance of making decisions based on various factors, including injury status and versatility within the squad.

As Southgate maintains his focus on leading England in the European Championship, the speculation surrounding his future at Manchester United serves as a subplot to the upcoming international fixtures.