Graeme Souness makes stance clear on Gareth Southgate potentially becoming next Man Utd manager - 'I'd say'

Graeme Souness makes stance clear on Gareth Southgate potentially becoming next Man Utd manager - 'I'd say'

WATCH NOW: Sports round-up amid talk Gareth Southgate could become Man Utd manager

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 23/03/2024

- 10:20

The 53-year-old is being linked with a move to Old Trafford amid the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Erik ten Hag

Graeme Souness has claimed Gareth Southgate should reject a move to Manchester United.

Southgate is reportedly the club's No 1 target to replace Erik ten Hag, with the Dutchman overseeing a difficult season at Old Trafford so far.

It was claimed earlier in the week that new United chief Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who is now in charge of sporting matters at the club, is a big Southgate admirer.

Rumours also suggested Ratcliffe wanted a decision from Southgate 'quickly' so the Red Devils can plan for the future.

Man Utd news Gareth Southgate Graeme Souness

Man Utd news: Graeme Souness thinks Gareth Southgate should snub a move to Old Trafford


But Souness, writing for the Daily Mail, believes the England boss should turn down the chance if the opportunity arises.

"If I was advising Gareth Southgate amid rumours making him the next manager of Manchester United, I'd say, sit tight instead," he said.

"This England squad have at least two more tournaments in them - going by their age - and Gareth should hang around and enjoy the fruits of that.

"He enjoyed a huge slice of luck in how he got the job following Sam Allardyce's departure and has benefited from the very timely development of this highly talented English group.

"As he well knows from his time with Middlesbrough, managing a club side with its daily demands is a whole different job.

"Gareth is non-confrontational; he has a safe image so that will appeal to some.

"Yet look at the three most successful managers in the Premier League: Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp and Mikel Arteta, they are all very emotional, passionate characters who wear their heart on their sleeves.

"That's not Gareth. Of course, there is more than one way to get a job done but the United job, if it comes up, needs a big character.

"Bigger, more experienced managers, like Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho have had a decent crack at it but ultimately still failed while little has improved under the very different approach of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Erik ten Hag."

Souness also thinks Southgate should stay at England even if they win Euro 2024.

"If England win the Euros, his best bet is to stay put," he added.

Southgate isn't the only manager being linked with a move to United.

Thomas Tuchel is set to be available come the summer after it was recently revealed he'd be leaving Bayern Munich.

Ratcliffe is said to be a big admirer of Graham Potter, despite the Englishman struggling at Chelsea last term.

And Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi has been linked with a move to United as well amid his impressive work at the Amex Stadium.


Man Utd news Erik ten Hag

Man Utd news: Erik ten Hag's future is up in the air amid Gareth Southgate links


Southgate, meanwhile, has claimed he's solely focused on England ahead of Euro 2024 - and is in no mood to discuss his long-term future.

"My focus is the European Championship," said Southgate, who previously managed former club Middlesbrough earlier in his career.

"If we did something, a contract here before, everyone would be saying, 'Why are you signing a contract before a Euros where you've got to prove yourself?'.

Gareth Southgate

Man Utd news: Gareth Southgate is shrugging off questions regarding a potential job at Old Trafford


"I'm certainly not going to speak to anybody else ahead of that. I never have. I've been eight years in the job.

"I wouldn't entertain speaking to anybody else when I'm in a job."

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