Gary Neville has dismissed claims he has taken on the role of Valencia head coach in order to fast-track a move into the top job with either Manchester United or England.
Neville, 40, was a surprise appointment as Valencia boss earlier this month on a short-term deal, and has already been mentioned as a candidate to replace the under-pressure Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford, or to succeed Roy Hodgson, who Neville works with as an assistant.
But Neville said his commitment is to Valencia, and he is not treating the job as a stepping stone.
“Me being the England manager in six months or me being the Manchester United manager in six months – I can assure you it’s not going to happen,” Neville said in the Daily Telegraph.
“And it shouldn’t happen. Simple as that. I am removing any doubt that anybody should be thinking in that way. You see these things and it’s nonsense. Honestly, nonsense. I am happy here doing what I am doing. I am happy working under Roy. I have not been back to Manchester United for years. I am happy where I am.
“The idea that I have taken this job so I can pounce on one of those other two jobs – it’s absolutely not true. You can rest assured of that. It’s not going to happen in terms of people offering it to me and it’s not going to happen in terms of me taking it. I want to be absolutely clear on that.”
Neville, who stepped away from media commitments to move to Spain, also revealed he would have turned down the Valencia job had Hodgson not been on board.
“Roy was probably the second or third person I called because I wanted to speak to him about it,” he said. “He could have stopped it. In the sense of when I say stopped it if he had said, ‘Look Gary, I’m uncomfortable with you going there. It would harm your role with England and you have to choose either/ or’. Then I would have stayed with England.
“Because that was something I wanted to see out. Sky and The Telegraph were big commitments but England was another level. It’s my country. It’s a team I’ve been working with for four years. We have a tournament in the summer.
“I love working with Roy. I love the job. For me not to do that would have been a real ‘no, I can’t miss that’. But Roy was so supportive.”
Neville has seen Valencia win one of their four matches since he took charge. They face Villarreal on Thursday and Real Madrid three days later.