Man Utd believe Gareth Southgate theory as England lose to Iceland

Gareth Southgate looks on during England’s defeat to Iceland. (Image: Getty)

Manchester United are still reportedly targeting Gareth Southgate to takeover at Old Trafford despite England’s deflating 1-0 defeat to Iceland at Wembley.

Just 24 hours after the manager confirmed his 26-man squad to travel to Germany for Euro 2024, the Three Lions turned in an uninspired display and were left undone by Jon Dagur Thorsteinsson’s early goal.

Southgate and co will now head to their training base in Gelsenkirchen on Monday, ahead of their opening tournament clash with Serbia the following Sunday.

And the 53-year-old’s future after Euro 2024 remains unknown, with speculation mounting he will step down from international duty following an eight-year tenure.

But he isn’t the only prominent manager currently the subject of speculation. Despite widespread reports he was to be sacked irrespective of the result in the FA Cup final, Erik ten Hag remains the boss at United after his side’s surprise 2-1 win over Manchester City at Wembley.

However, there has been no swift resolution to the saga with INEOS chief Sir Jim Ratcliffe notably silent over the Dutchman’s future. United’s eighth-placed finish in the top flight this season was signified by a club record 14 defeats in a Premier League campaign.

And according to the Independent, Ratcliffe and co are still targeting Southgate to be in charge for the 2024/25 season. They are also reportedly confident the ex-Middlesbrough boss will accept any subsequent offer to return to club football.

Erik ten Hag remains in place at Man Utd after the FA Cup final win. (Image: Getty)

However, they are seemingly waiting for England’s Euro 2024 campaign to conclude before opening discussions. An unlikely group stage exit would see England done and dusted on June 25, but they could be in Germany until beyond July 14 if they were to reach a second successive Euros final.

Southgate is said to be currently focused purely on preparations for the tournament, and is unwilling to entertain any potential distractions until the squad have returned home.

Fans and pundits have widely perceived this to be England’s best chance of landing a major international tournament since the World Cup win back in 1966.

And back in March, he was forceful with reporters when pressed on him being linked to succeeding Ten Hag this summer. “There are two things from my point of view,” he replied.

“One is that I’m the England manager. I’ve got one job: to try to deliver a European Championship. Clearly, before that, two important games this week. The second thing is United have a manager.

“It’s always completely disrespectful when there’s any speculation about a manager that’s in place. I’m president of the LMA (League Managers Association) so I don’t have any time for that sort of thing really.”

Ten Hag himself has frequently insisted he remains focused on his current job and is planning for next season. The ex-Ajax man has entered the final year of his initial deal, and there have not yet been any discussions over a new contract.