Southgate says speculation linking him to Man United job is 'completely disrespectful'

Fri, Mar 22, 2024
Soccer News (AP)

Southgate says speculation linking him to Man United job is 'completely disrespectful'

LONDON (AP) - England coach Gareth Southgate said speculation linking him with the manager's position at Manchester United currently occupied by Erik ten Hag was "completely disrespectful" and insisted on Friday he wouldn't begin talks over another job while in charge of the national team.

Sections of the British media have reported that Southgate could be in the running to replace ten Hag if the Dutchman loses his job following the arrival of Jim Ratcliffe and his INEOS team that will oversee the club's soccer operations.

Southgate has a contract to coach England through December and he said his focus was on leading his national team at the European Championship in Germany in June.

Speaking on Friday ahead of England's friendly against Brazil at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, Southgate responded to a reporter's question about the links to United that have spread this week.

"There are two things," he said. "I am the England manager. I have got one job basically, to try and deliver a European Championship. Clearly, before that, two important games this week (against Brazil and then Belgium on Tuesday).

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

Southgate said his focus was only on Euro 2024.

"If we (agreed to) a contract (with the Football Association) before, everyone would be saying, 'Why are you signing a contract before a Euros where you've got to prove yourself?'" Southgate posed.

"I am certainly not going to speak to anybody else ahead of that. I never have. I have been eight years in the job. I wouldn't entertain speaking to anybody else when I am in a job."

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