Gareth Southgate hints new England contract is close

Krishan Davis
Southgate is enjoying life as England boss
Southgate is enjoying life as England boss / Michael Regan/GettyImages

Gareth Southgate has hinted that he is close to extending his contract as England manager, admitting a lack of opportunities at club level and the wealth of talent in the current squad would make it tough to walk away.

Southgate's current deal - worth £3m per year - is due to expire following the 2022 World Cup, but it was revealed on Friday that the 51-year-old is on the verge of signing a two-year extension.

His new contract would see him remain as Three Lions boss until the climax of Euro 2024 and almost double his money.

Speaking ahead of England's final World Cup qualifier against San Marino on Monday night, Southgate addressed his future.

“As a manager you want to work with good players,” he said. “You can challenge them in a different way.

"There aren’t a huge number of jobs out there and being the manager of England is a massive privilege, so of course I take that responsibility really responsibly. It means a lot to me to be in the position I am.”

England need just a point from their clash with lowly San Marino to secure their place at the 2022 World Cup - potentially Southgate's third major tournament in charge of the Three Lions following memorable runs to the semi-finals of the 2018 edition and the final of Euro 2020 in the summer.

Southgate continued: "We’ve shown over the last couple of years that we’ve got some really good strength in depth. I think that there is still a long way to go and room for improvement.

"There is depth, but we’ve always had depth in this country. We’ve always had good players. I’m not convinced that our players are better than the team in 2004 or 2006 and that sort of period. I’m not certain we’re better than ’96 or ’98 when I played.

"But this group have got a lot of potential and have really blended well as a team. They have formed a very strong bond and the way they have worked for each other has produced some really good performances and exceptional results."