Gareth Southgate: England manager set for contract talks in November after final 2022 World Cup Qualifier

England reached the Euro 2020 final three years after making the World Cup semi-finals; the FA wants to reward Gareth Southgate with a new deal, but are also aware he would like to return to club management at some point in the future

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Kaveh Solhekol says that England manager Gareth Southgate has ambitions to return to club management at some point in the future

Gareth Southgate will sit down and talk to the FA about a new contract when England's World Cup qualifying campaign finishes in November.

Southgate's current contract as England manager runs out at the end of the World Cup finals in December next year, and the FA would like him to sign an extension which would see him in charge for the next European Championship in Germany in 2024.

England reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in 2018 and then final of Euro 2020 under Southgate.

The FA wants to reward him with a new deal, and are also aware he would like to return to club management at some point in the future.

Southgate signed a four-year contract when he was appointed in November 2016, and after the 2018 World Cup he signed an improved four-year deal.

England's World Cup qualifying campaign ends with a game in San Marino on November 15.

'Club management in back of Southgate's mind'

Gareth Southgate applauds the fans at Wembley after England's defeat
Image: Gareth Southgate's current contract as England manager runs out at the end of the World Cup finals in December next year

Sky Sports News' Kaveh Solhekol:

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"Gareth Southgate has 14 months left on his contract as the England manager. After the Russia World Cup, he signed a new four-year contract which takes him up to the Qatar finals in December next year.

"Before this summer's Euros, the FA chief executive Mark Bullingham said he wanted to sit down with Southgate and talk about the next Euros in Germany in 2024.

"Those talks were expected to be held after the Euros but actually, Southgate said the full focus has to be on these World Cup qualifiers and that once that is done, he will sit down with the FA and talk about his contract.

"The interesting question is how long does he want to remain England manager?

"We know he wants to go back to being a club manager at some point in the future but when does he want to do that?

"The FA wants him to stay - they're absolutely delighted with the work he has done - and, yes, Southgate is happy.

"I think he would like to extend his contract but in the back of his mind there is an ambition of going back to be a club manager."

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England manager Gareth Southgate says his side have prepared specifically for the threat of Robert Lewandowski but insists Poland pose dangers from other areas of the pitch too ahead of their World Cup qualifier on Wednesday

Southgate: Contract situation won't distract players

Southgate laughed off the suggestion that England's players might be distracted by his contract situation ahead of next year's World Cup.

The England boss said, with a laugh: "I wouldn't think they could care less, frankly! They're not bothered who the manager is at club or country.

"One comes, one goes. The next one, they get on with it. So, no, it's not a distraction in any way, shape or form.

"I've got 14 months. If you can get through 14 weeks as a manager you have done well, so it really isn't an issue.

"I'm enjoying working with the team and I would imagine we won't even discuss that until after the autumn now."

England have World Cup qualification double-headers in October and November, but they would appear all but assured of progress to Qatar should they beat nearest challengers Poland on Wednesday.

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The Three Lions head to Warsaw fresh from back-to-back 4-0 wins against Hungary and Andorra but Southgate warned against complacency ahead of taking on Robert Lewandowski and co.

Asked if he gets the feeling England now expect to win rather than just hope to, he said: "It's a good observation in that without doubt there's that confidence in the team, which can only come from the evidence of being able to achieve results and performances that have led to those results.

"We saw that in Hungary, the way they approached the game, the belief, but also that bit of additional motivation from not having quite got to where we wanted to as well.

"That's a good position for us to be in. But that has to be worked at every day.

"Any slipping of those standards, any suggestion we can win matches by taking our foot off the gas, then we'll be in trouble.

"The level of competition is too high. The test of any match gives you different problems to solve during the evening.

"While it's enjoyable to be with this team at the moment because of the things you've mentioned, that also can be a dangerous moment, if we allow standards to slip in any way."

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Southgate has built an impressive unit that could secure a record 12th clean sheet in a calendar year, having gone level with England's 1966 heroes with an 11th shut-out at the weekend.

"I don't think you can ever underestimate the midfield players as well," he said of their defence.

"Defending is sometimes taken for granted and I think it's an art in itself and I think you have to have a pride in defending and there are details that are really important organisationally.

"But also in the desire to really focus on it, take pride in it, take joy in keeping the ball out of the net, enjoy making those last-ditch clearances, making sure your positioning is correct early, making sure your body positioning is right - and communication.

"They are a group who talk well, organise each other. So there's a real esprit de corps, if you like, about that unit and that's how it has to be.

"They have got that, they have grasped that and their defensive record over a long period of time now is exceptional. It gives us as a bedrock for the rest of the team to go and play."

Not only are England preventing goals but scoring them at quite a pace, with Harry Kane now on 40 for his country - joint fifth with Michael Owen in the national team's all-time rankings.

Southgate likened the Tottenham player's ability up front to Belgium's Romelu Lukaku and Poland star Lewandowski, whose excellence into his 30s he can see Kane replicating.

"Well, in terms of Kane there is every chance he will go as long as possible because he's an incredible professional," the boss added.

"Normally those things are determined by how you look after your body, what you eat, how you prepare. So he's going to do that and that's going to give him the best chance.

"You never know what circumstance can happen around that but he will give himself the best chance."

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