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‘Tough ask for England to keep Southgate’ – FA director aware of Premier League appeal

12:29 BST 10/09/2019
Gareth Southgate England 2019
The former Middlesbrough boss has impressed while in charge of the Three Lions and offers from the top flight may be received at some stage

England are aware that they face a “tough ask” retaining the services of Gareth Southgate, with Football Association technical director Les Reed conceding that Premier League vultures will likely circle at some stage.

The Three Lions are hoping that they will not be backed into a corner any time soon, with their current coach tied to terms through to the 2022 World Cup.

Southgate has helped to raise expectations heading towards more major tournaments, with his first at the helm delivering a semi-final berth in 2018.

England also reached the last four of the inaugural UEFA Nations League and are well on course to reach next summer’s European Championship.

With positivity returned to the ranks, Southgate’s stock has risen and a man with only one previous stint as a club boss at Middlesbrough is expected to attract interest from top-flight sides.

If that proves to be the case, then Reed admits that the lure of the Premier League will be difficult for a highly-regarded tactician to turn down.

He told Sky Sports: “It would be a tough ask depending on what he was offered.

“But I know Gareth's mindset at the moment is that he wants to be an England manager that wins something.

“I think the attraction of being the next England manager to take us to a World Cup final is a strong pull and also I think he knows that by doing that his stock's not going to go down.

“Obviously it's something that we have in the back of our minds all the time but I know that Gareth's motivation is with this team and developing this team moving forward.”

Southgate’s focus at present is locked on Euro 2020 qualification.

He has overseen a perfect run of three wins from as many games so far, with a fourth outing set to see England face Kosovo at Southampton’s St Mary’s Stadium on Tuesday.

Victory in that contest would see the Three Lions pull further clear at the top of Group A and edge ever close to another major finals.

A positive result of any kind will also see England extend a remarkable record in qualifying contests which has seen them go unbeaten through 43 games stretching back to October 2009 and a 1-0 reversal against Ukraine.