Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola is under consideration as someone who could take over the England job from Gareth Southgate, a report has claimed.
Guardiola is contracted to Man City until 2025, but the Daily Mail has shared suggestions that the England job could become available in 2024 after the European Championship. If Southgate leaves after that tournament, then the FA will be looking for a new national team manager.
According to the Mail, some decision makers at the FA have a ‘dream’ of appointing Guardiola. They have already been warming to the idea of choosing a first foreign candidate since Fabio Capello.
Whether Guardiola could be easily bought out of his commitments to Man City is another matter, but enough interest is apparently there for the Premier League champions to be looking over their shoulders.
Guardiola has been in charge of Man City since 2016 and has won five Premier League titles during his time with the club. Notably, he led them to the treble last season.
If he was to take the England job, Guardiola would be getting his first experience of international management. He has previously only coached Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
The report from the Mail suggests that taking the national team job of his own country of birth, Spain, may be complicated because of his support for Catalan independence.
Therefore, the FA is ‘keen’ to see if they can lure Guardiola into its hotseat. If successful, it would be the end of an era at the Etihad Stadium.
However, other candidates for the England job could include Newcastle’s Eddie Howe, Chelsea’s Mauricio Pochettino, Celtic’s Brendan Rodgers and the unemployed Graham Potter.
Southgate is under contract with the FA until December 2024, but the governing body is now actively planning ahead in case he moves on after the Euros.
The former Middlesbrough man has been in charge of England since 2016, taking them to a World Cup semi-final in 2018, Euro final in 2021, and a World Cup quarter-final in 2022.
Guardiola still committed to Man City
As for Guardiola, last month, he implied he is happy to stay with Man City for the long term.
Speaking before the Community Shield, which his side would lose on penalties to Arsenal, the 52-year-old said: “I signed a contract for another two years because I feel comfortable — and nothing has changed whether we won [the Treble] or didn’t win.
“I’m happy and the people are happy, the board and the hierarchy especially, because they decide in the end which manager is going to lead this group of players.
“If they are satisfied, I’m still satisfied. I want to defend what we won and maybe at the end of the season, if I am tired, we will talk with the club — or maybe extend more.”