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FootballGareth Southgate Man United rumours: Man City's Stones wants boss to stay...

Gareth Southgate Man United rumours: Man City’s Stones wants boss to stay with England

Manchester City and England defender John Stones wants Gareth Southgate to remain as Three Lions boss amid speculation linking him with Manchester United.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos group, which has taken over football operations at Old Trafford, reportedly want Southgate to take over from Erik ten Hag.

When Stones was asked about the situation while sitting alongside Southgate, the 53-year-old, who had earlier called rumours about him replacing Ten Hag “completely disrespectful” to the Dutchman, reassured his player that there was no obligation to answer the question.

“I personally want him here,” replied Stones, an international regular under Southgate. “I agree it would be disrespectful to speak about a team that already has a manager.”

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Southgate’s achievements, including a run to the 2018 Fifa World Cup semi-finals and 2020 Uefa Euro final, will have caught the attention of leading clubs but the former Middlesbrough manager said he would not speak to any suitors before Euro 2024, which begins for England against Serbia on June 16.

England have home friendlies against Brazil on Saturday and Belgium on Tuesday. “I don’t see friendly games as a friendly game,” said Stones.

“It’s against one of the best teams in the world [Brazil] over the past I don’t know how many years.

“It’s a bit different this time with a lot of injuries [for Brazil] and a new manager [Dorival Junior], but it’s a great test for us to get something out of it and move onto the game on Tuesday and finish this week off with two wins.”

England v Brazil: Stones ‘special’

Another excellent season from Stones has helped put City in contention for a successful Premier League title defence, with some pundits crediting the 29-year-old as one of the finest players of modern times thanks to his ability to advance and impress across the length of the pitch.

“It’s been fabulous to watch his journey from a right-back in the under-21s in the first game we picked, moving across to centre-back,” said Southgate, referencing his time in charge at youth level.

“We always knew he had a special talent with the ball. He also values defending. I hold him up as an example to young defenders.

“He’s stepping into midfield and fulfilling that dual role. He’s tactically aware. I can’t speak highly enough of how he is to work with.”

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