England: Gareth Southgate succession planning has begun ahead of crunch talks after Euro 2024

England: Gareth Southgate succession planning has begun ahead of crunch talks after Euro 2024

The FA say they have had no approaches from clubs over Gareth Southgate, following months of speculation linking the England manager with Manchester United.

Southgate’s England contract is up at the end of this year and the Three Lions boss has repeatedly insisted he wants to delay talks over his future until after Euro 2024.

In the meantime, it has become clear that new United co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his INEOS team rate the 53-year-old as a potential future United manager.

The Old Trafford hierarchy have decided to stick by FA Cup winning coach Erik ten Hag heading into next season, but only after a lengthy end-of-season review in which other candidates were considered. Some have suggested that United are kicking the can down the road until Southgate leaves England.

“There have been no approaches,” said FA chief executive Mark Bullingham, who also confirmed that while succession planning is underway, the body have not spoken to any potential candidates about the England job.

“Any organisation really has a succession plan in place for their top employees, and we are no different to that. This succession plan normally includes everything from what you do for short-term cover, through to a process you follow to candidates. We have that for top employees.

“Gareth has been really, really clear that he wants to talk about [his future] after the tournament. I don’t want to provide any distraction for him and the team.”

Southgate has managed England at three major tournaments, reaching the final of the last European Championship, as well as the semis and quarters at his two World Cups.

In an interview with German outlet Bild earlier this week, the former Crystal Palace defender admitted this summer’s Euros could be win or bust, suggesting he is likely to walk away should England fail to lift the trophy in Germany. Bullingham, however, insists the FA have not set such an ultimatum.

“I know why people would love for there to always be a really arbitrary level but I don't think you can set one for any tournament with any manager that you judge,” he explained.

“You could go further but be playing poorly or have a really unlucky result where you get a couple of red cards, so I think setting an arbitrary figure isn't the right way to go. I think we step back and look at everything after the tournament.”

He added: “I think the world of Gareth, I think he has done a phenomenal job, I think he has transformed the fortunes of our men’s senior team, and that’s not just off the pitch, which a lot of people talk about, and you can see the culture but also the performances on the pitch.

“Since 1966, he has won about half of our knockout games which is a measure we really use. You know we value him massively.”