International Soccer

Gareth Southgate attends Sir Dave Brailsford’s birthday celebrations amid Man Utd links

Gareth Southgate was among the attendees of a 60th birthday meal held for Sir Dave Brailsford, according to a report.

England boss Southgate has been linked with the Manchester United job in recent weeks, with Brailsford now in a key position at Old Trafford as director of Ineos Sport.

The former defender brushed off the speculation in the March international break, during which he oversaw a defeat to Brazil and a late draw with Belgium, and The Telegraph claim Southgate was joined at the dinner party by Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger, Roy Hodgson, Mauricio Pochettino, Thomas Frank and Dan Ashworth.

The report describes the celebration as a ‘private social event’ and adds that loose football chat was enjoyed by guests.

Brailsford has plenty of power at Man Utd following Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s arrival and has led their pursuit of sporting director Ashworth, though the Red Devils are said to have ‘hit a stalemate‘ in their negotiations with Newcastle.

Dave Brailsford, Jim Ratcliffe, Jean-Claude Blanc

Brailsford works alongside Ratcliffe / Jean Catuffe/GettyImages

Southgate is set to lead England into his fourth major tournament when they travel to Germany for Euro 2024, winning 57 of his 93 games. His contract with the FA expires in December 2024.

While future off-field changes could affect his future at the club, current manager Erik ten Hag claimed he wasn’t worried about speculation.

He said: “You know when you are working at Manchester United, there will always be noise and rumours around the club, team, manager, players, there will always be issues.

“You [the media] like it to talk about [speculation], but of course we have different interests, but we are not focusing on that. We are focusing on the process to make the team play better, to improve the way of playing.

“So yes, I do not care about it.

“I was trainer at Ajax and it [the pressure] was similar and so when you are working at the top in football, you get used to it – so we do not care, players do not care, I do not care.

“We are working and co-operating, we know we have to perform and we have to get the right results.”


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