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Gareth Southgate insists England contract is ‘not an issue and never has been’

Gareth Southgate insists England contract is ‘not an issue and never has been’

Gareth Southgate insists his contract situation is “not an issue and never has been” as he enters the final six months of his deal before the European Championship in Germany.

The England manager, 53, has been in charge of the Three Lions since 2016, but considered leaving the job after the World Cup quarter-final defeat by France in Qatar before staying put.

He told the BBC ahead of overseeing a fourth major tournament as manager this summer when the men’s team will be look to win their first trophy since the 1966 World Cup: “Well, for me, (My contract is) 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.”

Southgate has played down links to the Manchester United job with their manager Erik ten Hag under pressure, adding: “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, (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 the Three Lions were beaten on penalties in the final by Italy.)”

Southgate also spoke about how he struggles with team selection ahead of picking his initial Euro 2024 squad on 21 May.

He added about his squad: “Well, we can’t start them all. They’re nice problems to have.

“You’d rather have talent and have to make decisions based on form, than not have those options and be scratching your heads on who to play in which position.

“I think any manager would say the same thing. You'd rather have good players to work with and to pick from.”

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