Southgate keeps England door open for Rooney

England manager Southgate was asked by journalists on Friday whether he might consider asking Rooney to return if injuries disrupted his squad ahead of next year's FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Gareth Southgate

Gareth Southgate Source: Reuters

"Yes. (But) I guess you will have to ask him," Southgate told a press conference called to announce his 28-man squad for the away game at Malta on Sept. 1 and the home fixture against Slovakia at Wembley three days later.

Southgate said he had a long conversation with Rooney, who announced his retirement on Wednesday, about his decision and had been considering including him in the squad.

"His form has been excellent and I was definitely thinking about including him in the squad. We talked for about half-an-hour.

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"As a manager in these situations you want to prod to see if a player has understood all the ramifications (of retiring).

"He had. He feels a sense of loyalty to Everton, his new club."

Rooney is England's record scorer and most capped outfield player with 53 goals in 119 games.




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Published 25 August 2017 at 11:42am
Source: Reuters