Monday 26 June 2017

Southgate set for cut-price £1.5m-a-year England deal

Gareth Southgate will be paid a basic £1m-a-year less than Sam Allardyce. Photo: Getty Images
Gareth Southgate will be paid a basic £1m-a-year less than Sam Allardyce. Photo: Getty Images

James Ducker

The English FA has drawn up a £1.5m-a-year (€1.75m) contract that it will offer Gareth Southgate after tonight's friendly against Spain.

Southgate's four-game reign as interim manager ends with the game at Wembley and FA chiefs are convinced he is the right man to do the job full-time.

The contract will have a break clause after the 2018 World Cup, but the intention is for the 46-year-old to be still in charge of the team for the 2020 European Championship.

His basic annual wage will be around £1m less than either of his immediate predecessors, Roy Hodgson and Sam Allardyce, but there will be added incentives and bonuses based on performances.

The deal will offer Southgate a significant increase on his wages as England U-21s manager, for which he was paid around £500,000 a year. Aidy Boothroyd will be promoted to that job.

Quickly

An agreement is expected to be reached relatively quickly and the length of the deal should meet Southgate's wish to work to a long-term plan.

Despite being coy on his future during his four-game trial, Southgate has dropped plenty of hints that he is preparing for the full-time job and there was another one ahead of the Spain friendly.

Speaking at Tottenham Hotspur's Enfield training ground, Southgate said: "My view is you manage every game like you're going to be there forever and make decisions for the long term.

"If that doesn't work then fine, but for any club or organisation you have to think about the long term. In terms of decision-making, what I think is right for us to be successful in the future.

Southgate's confidence has grown during his four-game interim spell and he now clearly feels ready to take on the job full-time.

"I'm not sure if I've learnt about myself because I was very aware of what I am, what I'm capable of, what I do," he said.

"I've learnt about the role, I've learnt about the players and everything that surrounds the international set-up. Part of coach development is knowing yourself anyway and then everyone else is a lot more comfortable.

"The insight has been into everything else that surrounds being in the position. Also, it's fascinating to see what is possible and achievable with this group of players. Definitely, there is high potential."

Southgate will make minimal changes to his team tonight as he goes in search of a big-name scalp.

Despite talking up the need to give young players a chance, Southgate has understandably resisted the temptation to hand debuts - from the start at least - to Michael Keane, of Burnley, and West Ham United's Aaron Cresswell, who he has drafted into his squad.

It also appears that Southgate is not going to start with either Marcus Rashford or the fit-again Jack Wilshere, although both will surely feature at some stage.

Adam Lallana is expected to move into the No 10 role behind striker Jamie Vardy, who is due to start ahead of Daniel Sturridge. Lallana may also interchange with Raheem Sterling and Jesse Lingard, with the Manchester United youngster expected to be given another chance ahead of Theo Walcott.

Southgate will start Joe Hart in goal rather than give Tom Heaton his first full cap, with the only change to the back four who played against Scotland in the World Cup qualifier last Friday being Nathaniel Clyne in place of Kyle Walker.

Meanwhile, Michael O'Neill has played down reports linking him with the Scotland job but the Northern Ireland manager stopped short of offering any long-term guarantees about his future.

Gordon Strachan flew to Portugal over the weekend to consider his future in the wake of Scotland's 3-0 World Cup qualifying defeat by England as the scrutiny around his position as manager intensifies.

O'Neill, who lives in Edinburgh, has won admirers for transforming Northern Ireland's fortunes and leading them to the European Championship finals for the first time this year, when they were beaten in the Round of 16 by Wales. (© Daily Telegraph, London).

England v Spain Live, ITV1, 8pm

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