The Football Association has been desperate to agree fresh terms with the manager, whose deal expires at the end of the 2022 World Cup, and negotiations are heading in a positive direction.
The contract is yet to be finalised but Southgate’s readiness to continue in a job he started in 2016 will come as a major boost to his bosses. The FA’s chief executive, Mark Bullingham, is a big fan of the 51-year-old and has made clear that he wants him to stay.
Southgate, who earns £3m a year, is expected to double his money if he commits to leading England into Euro 2024. He has been keen to delay negotiations until England’s place in Qatar is secure, but it is understood that there has been progress in private.
Uncertainty has surrounded Southgate’s future since England’s run to the Euro 2020 final. There have been suggestions that he would prefer a fresh challenge after Qatar and a return to club management. However there is doubt over whether a top Premier League club would be prepared to appoint Southgate on the basis of his England work and he will be conscious he is already working with some of the best players in the country in his current role.
The FA declined to comment on Southgate’s contractual situation. England need four points from their remaining two qualifiers to be sure of reaching Qatar. They host Albania on Friday night and visit San Marino on Monday.
Harry Kane, the captain, has said that he wants Southgate to say and has insisted that the squad are not worried about the uncertainty.
“That is obviously between the manager and the FA and, as players, we would never put pressure on a manager to make a decision before then,” Kane said. “We have a job to do in these two games and a job to do going into a big year next year. I don’t think it matters from a player’s point of view if it is decided [before] then or not.
“I think I speak for a lot of players and, personally, I get on well with the manager. He has been great and his record at international level speaks for itself. And I still feel we are improving as a team. Semi-final in the World Cup, final in the Euros – we are heading in the right direction. Of course I would love him to stay, but it will come down to him and the FA and his personal decision.”