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England

Gareth Southgate to hold talks over England future in next few weeks

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Southgate is a popular man in England
Southgate is a popular man in England / Michael Regan/GettyImages
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Gareth Southgate is set to hold talks with the Football Association in the coming weeks over whether he wishes to extend his England contract beyond the end of the 2022 World Cup.

Southgate has done a terrific job since taking over the Three Lions in 2016, leading his side to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals and Euro 2020 final, where they lost to Italy on penalties. England also made it to the 2019 Nations League finals, where they finished in third place.

Despite this success Southgate has always remained coy about his future after next year's World Cup.

Speaking before England's World Cup qualifier against Hungary on Tuesday, he revealed that discussing over a new deal would take place imminently.

"I think I said last month that I had asked to put that [contract talks] further back into the autumn as I just wanted to focus on these games and also to give the time to make the right decision," Southgate said.

"After the Euros there is a huge amount of emotion and feeling and fatigue from going through a tournament like that. I want to make sure that I am making the right decisions for the right reasons. We have happily parked that for the time being.

"The discussions are very much open and Mark Bellingham [FA chief executive] has been really supportive but I have really felt this task - of getting the country to the World Cup - was the priority. We can look at everything in the next few weeks."

Automatic qualification is currently in England's hands. They top Group I, four points ahead of Albania in second and five ahead of Poland in third. They still have to face Hungary, Albania and San Marino, with victory in two of these games enough to guarantee progression to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

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