GARETH SOUTHGATE has given the strongest signal yet he is considering leading England into the 2026 World Cup.
The Three Lions’ longest-serving coach since Sir Bobby Robson had previously hinted he would be ready to quit after this summer’s Euro 2024 finals.
But at last night’s Nations League draw he admitted the lure of staying at the helm for another two years was one that he might not be able to resist – as long as he believes he is still the right man for the job.
Southgate said: “Without a doubt it’s exciting to take this team and always has been.
“In the end, we’ve got to deliver performance, and you’ve got to make the best decisions for everybody.
“I won’t be in a position to make that decision before the tournament.”
He added: “There’s probably 55 international coaches and there’s a fair chance half of them won’t be here after the Euros. That’s international football.
“You’ve got to keep winning football matches, and then make decisions.
“So I’m completely relaxed about that. All my focus is on delivering the best possible tournament this summer.”
However, it had been anticipated he would move aside for a replacement to take charge of the autumn Nations League games which saw England draw Finland, Republic of Ireland and Greece.
He said: “We’ve always built this period in afterwards to reflect on things and to make the best possible decisions for England.
“If we did anything before, it would be detrimental to the performance in the summer, whichever way your decision went.
“We’ve got to see how the summer goes, it’s as simple as that.
“I know what we’re capable of achieving in the summer, what my own benchmark of success is.
“That won’t necessarily determine my decision. My only focus is to try and win the tournament for England.”