England boss Gareth Southgate sends clear statement over Man Utd job | Football

The Three Lions boss is only focused on this summer’s Euros (Picture: Getty)

England boss Gareth Southgate has distanced himself from speculation surrounding the Manchester United job and says he has not held any talks about potentially replacing Erik ten Hag.

The Dutchman is under intense pressure at Old Trafford after a disappointing campaign, with the side currently sitting in eighth place in the Premier League table and outside the European spots.

United are also in the final of the FA Cup, which comes with the added bonus of Europa League qualification for the victor, though they are still without a host of injured players and face a huge test against Manchester City.

The calls for Ten Hag to be replaced only grew louder after Sunday’s 1-0 defeat to Arsenal, a result which means United have won just one of their last eight league outings – and that was against Sheffield United.

Southgate, who is preparing England for this summer’s Euros, is one of the leading candidates to succeed Ten Hag should he be axed at the end of the season.

Other names in the frame include departing Bayern Munich boss Thomas Tuchel, short-lived Chelsea manager Graham Potter and Brighton’s Roberto De Zerbi.

Southgate, though, says he is paying zero attention to the speculation linking him with the United job and has categorically denied holding any talks with the club’s hierarchy, with his only focus being on trying to win the European Championship with the Three Lions.

Asked about the links with United and his status as the bookies’ favourite, Southgate told ITV News: ‘Well, I’m not a big gambling man!

Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag

Ten Hag’s future at Old Trafford is up in the air (Picture: Reuters)

‘The bookies can make their odds but it’s not a conversation that’s been had with me.

‘I’ve got one thing to focus on and that’s having as successful a tournament with England as possible. Everything else outside of that is a complete irrelevance for me.’

Asked if he would not rule out returning to club management in the future, Southgate continued: ‘If I start talking about that, then I’m already distracted from what I’m doing.

‘So I think the country would expect that my focus is on England, and rightly so.’

He added: ‘We’ve had three tournaments where we’ve taken the public on a brilliant ride, and I know that we’ve got that desire to go that one step further.

‘Our aim is to win, it’s for other people to decide what is success and what is failure.

‘Ultimately, because of the progress we’ve made over five, six years, we’ve been so close that our mindset as a team has to be to go there to win the tournament and I think the players would expect that.

‘I think the ability of the team is there but of course, you have to deliver it in a very small period.’

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