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Gareth Southgate’s reward for steering England to their first World Cup semi-final for 28 years will be a new four-year deal.
According to The Times, the head coach of the Three Lions is close to agreeing terms with the Football Association (FA) on a contract “worth at least £12m which would take him through to the end of the 2022 World Cup finals”.
The paper says that a draft of the contract will be presented to the board of the FA today and it is expected to be approved. The departure of Dan Ashworth, who resigned as FA technical director to work in a similar capacity with Brighton & Hove Albion, has only strengthened Southgate’s position and made the FA board “even keener” to tie him down on a long contract.
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Southgate paid tribute to the work that Ashworth has done. “I don’t think he could have had a bigger impact with the plans he put in place at the FA and the way that the national teams have progressed in the time Dan has been in charge,” he said.
Clubs eyeing Southgate
The Times says that the FA is concerned that England’s World Cup run, achieved with a young team against the odds, has made Southgate a target for some of the world’s top clubs.
Consequently they are ready to increase his wages and secure his loyalty, believing that “England’s brightest young prospects will be at their peak” at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Since he was installed as England manager in November 2016 Southgate has been earning a basic salary of around £1.8m a year which, according to the Times, is “less than half what English managers in the Premier League such as Eddie Howe at Bournemouth earn”.
The paper says that the new deal drawn up by the FA will replace Southgate’s existing contract - that runs until 2020 - and will increase his salary “to around £3m, and take him to the end of December 2022”.
Keen to commit
Nonetheless, as BBC Sport points out, that is still substantially less than the £4m the FA paid Fabio Capello during his less than impressive reign as England manager between 2008 and 2012.
It is, however, more than the £2.5m that Roy Hodgson was paid for guiding England to defeat against Iceland in the 2016 European Championship.
The 2020 Euros are Southgate’s next target and qualification for the tournament begins in March next year. The Times says that the FA “hopes to have the new deal finalised by then” and apparently Southgate is ready to commit himself to a long-term deal.
Still only 48, he is young in management terms, and he believes this crop of England players has the potential to win titles. But the Times says that Southgate wants one day to return to club management because he has “unfinished business”, a reference to his dismissal from Middlesbrough nine years ago.
England’s 2018 fixtures
- 12 October: Uefa Nations League vs. Croatia (Stadion HNK Rijeka, Rijeka; 7.45pm)
- 15 October: Uefa Nations League vs. Spain (Estadio Benito de Villamarin, Sevilla; 7.45pm)
- 15 November: friendly vs. United States (Wembley, London; 8pm)
- 18 November: Uefa Nations League vs. Croatia (Wembley, London; 2pm)
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