Pep Guardiola has already given verdict on international management amid links with England job

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The Manchester City manager is reportedly being lined up as Gareth Southgate’s replacement.

Pep Guardiola is reportedly being considered as Gareth Southgate’s replacement as England manager.

The Manchester City boss signed an extension at the Etihad last season, which expires in 2025, but the FA could try and lure him away from that contract early. According to the Daily Mail, Guardiola is ‘the dream appointment’, and officials at the FA are ‘open to exploring’ his appointment in the future.

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The outlet add that there is a real possibility that Southgate steps down as England manager after next summer’s European Championships, when Guardiola could be approached, although his wages may be a stumbling block.

While Guardiola is incredibly comfortable with life at City, the 52-year-old has often said he will walk away at some stage and does not see himself remaining at the club for a period of time like Sir Alex Ferguson’s extended spell at Manchester United. And the ex-Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach has admitted in the past he would be tempted by the prospect of managing a national team.

"I would like to be an international manager in a national team,” Guardiola admitted in 2018, when speaking at Liverpool University. "It will happen because every three days I would like to be involved but a little bit more calm, play more golf, now I don't have time to play.

"Sooner or later it is going to happen, if I have a chance with an international team, if they come knocking at my door,” he added.

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Guardiola reiterated those comments three years later: “The next step will be a national team, if the opportunity presents itself,” he said. “I must take a break after seven years [at City]. I need to stop and look, learn from other coaches and then maybe take that path. I would like to coach in a European Championship, a Copa America, a World Cup.”

As a former Spanish international, it would be a natural assumption that Guardiola’s path to a World Cup would come via the Spain job. But the City manager said in September 2018 that ‘is not going to happen’, presumably given his strong views as a Catalan national.

"In eight, 12, 14 years maybe it could happen,” Guardiola said at the time, on managing at international level. “It's just a dream I have as a manager and a person. Maybe it happens, maybe it doesn't.

England manager Gareth Southgate. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)England manager Gareth Southgate. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
England manager Gareth Southgate. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images) | Getty Images

“I would like to play in a World Cup and a European Championship. I would like to live that situation. When I see the World Cup, I think I would like to be there. I had just one chance to do it as a player.”

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Guardiola has also given his verdict on Southgate, when he was asked two years ago whether he’d consider taking up a role with the Three Lions.

“Gareth has done an incredible job, reaching the final of the Euros and the semi-finals of the [2018] World Cup,” he opined. “This is a huge success for English football. I am not here to take anyone’s position. It is not my target. As long as it is possible to be here, as much as my energy is there and my love for what I am doing is here, [I will be]. After that I don’t know what is going to happen.”

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