Gareth Southgate could manage England at 2026 World Cup as FA keen to keep boss

Gareth Southgate could manage England at 2026 World Cup as FA keen to keep boss

Football Association bosses are reportedly keen for Gareth Southgate to manage England at the 2026 World Cup. Southgate dropped the biggest hint yet that he could stay on as Three Lions boss beyond Euro 2024, insisting that he will not make a decision on his future before travelling to Germany for the tournament.

It had previously been widely expected that Southgate would step down after this summer’s tournament. He has considered his future after both of England’s last two tournaments, the World Cup in Qatar and the delayed Euros in 2021.

However, the Mirror report that key figures within the FA want the 53-year-old to stay for the 2026 World Cup. An extra six months have been added to Southgate’s contract, which previously expired right after Euro 2024, to allow for a “handing over period”.

The lack of obvious contenders to replace the former U21s boss is another factor in the willingness for Southgate to lead England into the North America-based World Cup. Eddie Howe is enjoying relative success with Newcastle, while Graham Potter’s stock has fallen after his ill-fated Chelsea tenure.

Steve Cooper, another man who might be in the frame having guided an U17s side featuring Phil Foden, Conor Gallagher and Jadon Sancho to European Championship success, struggled with vast resources at Nottingham Forest.

Meanwhile, the FA reportedly harbour concerns that U21s head coach Lee Carsley, who was born in Birmingham but represented Ireland 40 times, would not be a popular choice among the public.

Southgate this week provided the clearest suggestion that he might continue beyond Euro 2024. If he reaches the 2026 World Cup, he would become the longest-serving England manager since Sir Alf Ramsey, moving within a year of the 1966 World Cup winner’s reign.

“There’s a fair chance half the coaches won’t be here after the Euros. That’s international football,” Southgate said following the UEFA Nations League draw in Paris.

“You’ve got to see how the summer goes — it’s as simple as that. I know what we’re capable of achieving in the summer, I know what my own benchmark of success would be, after that I’m not really thinking about anything else.