LION IN WAIT

GARETH SOUTHGATE has overtaken Graham Potter as the bookies’ new 2-1 favourite for the Manchester United job.

Ex-Chelsea boss Potter had been lined up by Sir Jim Ratcliffe if Erik ten Hag is sacked.

But England manager Southgate last week revealed he will shelve Three Lions contract talks until after Euro 2024.

And Ratcliffe, in charge of United’s football operations, said: “If we get the right people in the right boxes, the results will drop out the bottom.”

Potter worked closely with United’s incoming sporting director Dan Ashworth at Brighton, while Southgate has worked with him at the FA.

Reports suggest Sir Jim has made the 53-year-old his No1 choice to replace under-fire boss Ten Hag at Old Trafford.

This comes amid a turbulent campaign for the Red Devils under the Dutchman.

The Manchester giants were eliminated from the Champions League’s group stage before plunging to sixth place in the Premier League.

Southgate’s contract runs out in December.

And Ratcliffe is said to be confident in prising him over to club football once again following his three-year spell at Middlesbrough, which ended in 2009. That is despite the FA’s desperate attempts to hold onto the Watford tactician.

But as things stand, Ratcliffe would have to fork out around £800,000 in compensation for the Three Lions boss’ services.

The Ineos chief will also need to splash £10million just to sack Ten Hag and his coaching staff.

Potter has been without a job since his dismissal as Chelsea boss last April – Sun.

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