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Gareth Southgate 'still top of Manchester United's list of Erik ten Hag replacements'

Southgate 'still top of Man Utd's list of Ten Hag replacements'
© Reuters
Manchester United reportedly continue to regard England boss Gareth Southgate as their top choice to replace Erik ten Hag as the Red Devils manager this summer.

Manchester United continue to regard England manager Gareth Southgate as their top choice to replace Erik ten Hag this summer, according to a report.

Despite winning the FA Cup against arch-rivals Manchester City at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, marking his second trophy in two seasons, Ten Hag's future at Old Trafford is still unclear.

The Dutchman's second season in charge was largely disappointing, and the club's hierarchy have been undergoing a post-season assessment that could yet see them opt for a change in the dugout for next campaign.

United ended the 2023-24 Premier League season in eighth place, and failed to make it out of the group stage in the Champions League.

Aside from Southgate, United have been linked with several big-name managers in recent weeks, including the likes of Thomas Tuchel, Thomas Frank and former Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag on May 6, 2024© Reuters

United want Southgate "more than anyone else"

However, while a final decision around the future manager of the club has yet to be made, reporter Andrew Delaney via theSky Sports Back Pages podcast reports that the Red Devils want Southgate "more than anyone else.".

The report adds, though, that bringing the England boss to Old Trafford this summer would be 'very difficult', given his commitment to the national team's upcoming European Championship campaign.

It is understood that Southgate will not consider departing from his current position before England's tournament journey concludes, and it is expected that he will also take a break following the competition.

Southgate, meanwhile, has already downplayed suggestions of a potential move to Old Trafford for the 2024-25 campaign.

England manager Gareth Southgate pictured on June 14, 2022© Reuters

Southgate fully focused on England's European Championships

Ahead of his side's international friendlies in March, the England boss dismissed rumours of replacing Ten Hag before reaffirming that his main focus is on the European Championships with the Three Lions.

"I think there are two things from my point of view, one is that I'm the England manager, I've got one job basically -- to try and deliver a European Championship. Clearly before that, there are two important games this week," Southgate told reporters.

"Second thing is, Manchester United have a manager and I think it is always completely disrespectful when there is a manager in place. I'm president of the LMA [League Managers' Association] so I don't have any time for that sort of thing really."

If England advance to the final in Germany, Sir Jim Ratcliffe and the Man United hierarchy may have to wait until the middle of July before discussing a potential move to Old Trafford with the England manager.

By that point, the 2024-25 Premier League season would be only around a month away from starting, which could pose a significant risk in terms of implementing plans and conducting pre-season work with the Man United squad.

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Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag shakes hands with co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe after winning the FA Cup on May 25, 2024
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