Gareth Southgate has shot himself in the foot to hand Erik ten Hag double Man Utd boost

Marcus Rashford has been excluded from England’s Euro 2024 squad. (Image: Getty)

Gareth Southgate may have hindered his chances at becoming Manchester United manager by making Marcus Rashford the headline omission from his preliminary Euro 2024 squad. The England boss has been strongly linked with replacing Erik ten Hag but may have ruffled the wrong feathers with his eye-catching decision.

Rashford has endured a miserable season, scoring just eight goals in 42 appearances following a career-best 2022/23 campaign.

But it would’ve undoubtedly come as a shock to learn that he hadn’t made the cut, considering Southgate selected 33 players for an initial training group before trimming down to 26 on June 7.

The England boss’ contract expires after this summer’s tournament in Germany, and he is said to have admirers at INEOS.

Ten Hag’s uncertain future beyond Saturday’s FA Cup final has sparked speculation that Southgate could succeed him as the first appointment made by United’s new-look ownership.

However, his brutal exclusion of Rashford may have been counter-productive to his hopes of landing the job at Old Trafford.

In March, reports claimed that Southgate had the backing of several members of the United dressing room to replace Ten Hag in the hot seat.

Rashford, who has scored 17 goals in 60 England caps, surely would have been among those to have endorsed his international manager’s arrival.

Gareth Southgate has been linked with the Man Utd job. (Image: Getty)

His Euro 2024 omission may waver his support, though, as well as that of his team-mates, who will be desperate for a significantly improved 2024/25 season.

Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw and Kobbie Mainoo have been included in the 33-man roster but will be disappointed not to be joined by their United team-mate.

Ten Hag oversaw United’s worst-ever Premier League season by finishing eighth, missing out on European football altogether.

But the Dutchman may earn himself a stay of execution by winning the FA Cup on Saturday, in turn lifting a second major trophy in as many years and qualifying for the Europa League.

And if he is given the final year of his contract, Rashford’s absence from Euro 2024 will actually play in Ten Hag’s favour.

His No. 10 will have a much-needed summer break away from the spotlight before a full pre-season to rediscover his groove in time for next term.

Rashford played a crucial role in Ten Hag’s successful first season in England, scoring 30 goals to help secure a third-place Premier League finish and the Carabao Cup.

If he can restore at least half of that level, the 24/25 campaign is almost guaranteed to be an improved one.

Source: https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1901940/Man-Utd-news-Gareth-Southgate-Erik-ten-Hag