Gareth Southgate: I will likely step down if England do not win Euros

Gareth Southgate – FA refuse to line up Gareth Southgate successor despite belief he will quit unless England win Euros
Gareth Southgate enters the final six months of his England deal before the European Championship in Germany - Getty Images/Eddie Keogh

Gareth Southgate has said he will likely stand down as England manager unless he wins Euro 2024.

The Football Association are yet to line up a preferred successor to Southgate while they wait for him to make a decision on his future.

“If we don’t win, I probably won’t be here anymore,” Southgate told Bild. “So maybe it is the last chance. I think around half the national coaches leave after a tournament – that’s the nature of international football.

“I’ve been here almost eight years now and we’ve come close. You can’t constantly put yourself in front of the public and say, ‘A little more please,’ as at some point people lose faith. If we want to be a great team and I want to be a top coach, you must deliver in big moments.”

England arrived in Germany on Monday for a tournament they will start among the favourites to win. That has put Southgate under even greater pressure with his critics, but the FA are desperate for him to stay on. His existing contract runs until December.

While it is understood the FA have a rolling list of candidates to consider if Southgate goes, there is not yet a definitive shortlist of potential successors or a set succession plan with a preferred candidate.

Eddie Howe, Graham Potter, Mauricio Pochettino and Thomas Tuchel are among the names the FA would most likely contemplate, with foreign coaches with experience of English football expected to be considered.

Potter, Pochettino and Tuchel are all out of work, but the FA have not yet made any moves to try to line up Southgate’s successor or find out the plans of the three men.

FA want to extend Southgate’s contract

The FA would ideally like to extend Southgate’s contract past December to ensure the 53-year-old remains as England manager for the World Cup in 2026.

But Southgate put all contract talks on hold until after the Euros and has also refused to talk to any clubs, such as Manchester United, who have shown an interest in him during preparations for the summer.

As reported by Telegraph Sport, Pochettino would be interested in the England job if it became available and he remains out of work. Tuchel has decided to take a break from management for now, although there is an expectation that he too would consider an approach from the FA.

Potter has already turned down an approach from Ajax this summer and is one of Leicester City’s top targets. It is unclear whether or not he would want to move into international management at this stage of his career after being sacked by Chelsea over a year ago, while Howe has ruled out leaving Newcastle United for the England job in the past.

It means that the FA would be starting from scratch in any hunt to replace Southgate if he leaves his job after the Euros, while the favoured choice is currently for him to stay on.

Southgate has already suggested that his job could effectively become untenable in the eyes of the public if England are seen to have fallen short at the Euros in Germany.

Having reached the final of the last European Championship, the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup and reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup in 2022, England are under pressure to go all the way this summer.

Anything less than a semi-final appearance would almost certainly be viewed as an under-performance while another near miss will only harden the opinion of Southgate’s critics, who argue he is the man to carry England over the line.

Heaton called up for Euros squad

Tom Heaton has travelled to Germany with the England squad as a training goalkeeper.

Manchester United goalkeeper Heaton will take part in sessions to help the preparation of Jordan Pickford, Aaron Ramsdale and Dean Henderson for the duration of the tournament.

Heaton won three England caps and was part of the squad for the 2016 European Championship, and Southgate said: “I am really pleased Tom has agreed to join us in Germany.

“Experience tells us that a tournament can put a lot of demand on our goalkeeping group led by Martyn Margetson. Tom will play an invaluable role on the training pitch supporting Jordan, Aaron and Dean.

“Off the field as someone we all know well, he will add to the positive environment we are always looking to create. We are grateful to Manchester United for their support in making this happen.”

Heaton posted a message on social media that said: “Incredibly honoured to be asked by Gareth to join the squad. To get the call to go to a major tournament, to help in any way I can and pass on my experience is a proud moment. We have a great squad, I’m excited and can’t wait to join the group.”