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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Gareth Southgate could be next Man Utd manager, claim Roy Keane and Gary Neville

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Football

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Roy Keane and Gary Neville have said they can envisage England boss Gareth Southgate succeeding Erik ten Hag as Manchester United manager.

Ten Hag’s future at United has been questioned following Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s purchase of a minority stake in the club, with the team currently lying sixth in the Premier League.

United are expected to appoint Newcastle sporting director Dan Ashworth, who has been placed on garden leave after telling the Magpies he wanted to leave and has previously worked alongside Southgate at the Football Association.

Speaking on Sky Bet’s Stick to Football podcast, former United midfielder Keane said: “I could see that happening (Southgate being the next United manager).

“Well, obviously everyone’s thinking he’s probably going to be with England this summer if he has a good (European) Championship, thinking if they could win it. And if they don’t, then maybe they’re thinking you’ve ran your race with him.

“His connection with Dan Ashworth, who he has worked with previously. Yeah, I’m not that surprised with it.”

Gareth Southgate will lead England into the Euros this summer

(PA Wire)

Former Red Devils defender Neville said: “I never saw Gareth Southgate as a Manchester United manager, psychologically, I never saw that.

“I can see it now, now Dan Ashworth has come in. I just think, what does Erik ten Hag need to do to stay as Manchester United manager? So, for instance, is the FA Cup enough, or does he need to get top four, or top five, Champions League?”

United – who play Coventry in the FA Cup semi-finals next month – are six points behind fifth-placed Tottenham and a further three behind fourth-placed Aston Villa.

Last season, in their first campaign under Dutchman Ten Hag, they won the League Cup, were FA Cup runners-up and came third in the league, securing a return to the Champions League – they subsequently finished bottom of their group in the continental competition this term.

This summer’s Euros in Germany is to be England’s fourth major tournament under Southgate, who has been in charge since 2016 and has a current deal with the FA that expires in December.

The 53-year-old former Middlesbrough boss has overseen England reaching the 2018 World Cup semi-finals, finishing as runners-up at the European Championship in 2021 and going as far as the quarter-finals of the World Cup in 2022.

Southgate’s England face Brazil and Belgium in friendlies this week

(PA Wire)

Neville, winner of 85 England caps and a former member of the national team coaching staff under Roy Hodgson, added: “I think if Gareth is leaving, I think to be honest with you, you’ll have seen this in tournaments, but it’s never been easy.

“England will have qualifiers starting up again a couple of months after the tournament, so they’ll have to have a new manager in. And Gareth will need to sort his future out, to get a club for potentially the start of next season.

“So, I think if it’s done maturely, I can see how it would be brought forward in terms of Gareth.

“Forget Manchester United, England would need to appoint a new manager. So, they are going to have to appoint a new manager pre-tournament, probably.

“And say Gareth is going to be leaving after the tournament, unless he’s just going to leave on the last day and do it quietly, I don’t know.”

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