Southgate powerless to stop transfer talk in England camp

AFP , Sunday 18 Jun 2023

England manager Gareth Southgate has urged his players to enjoy their short summer break rather than being bogged down by speculation over their club futures.

England manager Gareth Southgate attends a press conference at the Trafford Training Centre, Manchester, England, Sunday June 18, 2023. England will play against North Macedonia in a group C Euro qualifier on Monday. AP


Three Lions captain Harry Kane, Declan Rice, Harry Maguire, Kyle Walker and James Maddison are just some of Southgate's squad linked with major moves over the coming months.

An unprecedented season, with a World Cup sandwiched in the middle, finally comes to a close for England's stars when they face North Macedonia in a Euro 2024 qualifier at Old Trafford on Monday.

"I haven't felt the need to say anything," Southgate said about the transfer speculation in the camp. "I mean, the players are tapping each other up anyway on the quiet, so I can't do anything about that!

"What I have said is that these things run their course, they happen in their own time, you can't force it as a player.

"Don't get frustrated, don't be asking all summer. You don't need to be updated on every call that happens.

"There's a lot of negotiation that goes on. I remember as a player getting too wrapped up in every detail of that."

England are training at Manchester United's Carrington base.

United left-back Luke Shaw posted pictures with Tottenham striker Kane and West Ham midfielder Rice, both of whom have been linked with the Red Devils, with the caption "Carrington tour" on social media on Saturday.

"It's to do with the club, really, but of course when we are here we are always together and we have a joke about it," said Shaw.

"I don't really know too much what is going on."

After winning their first three qualifiers against Italy, Ukraine and Malta, England are well on course to book their place in Germany next year.

Southgate's men are six points clear at the top of Group C with the top two progressing to Euro 2024.

"The focus for the next 36 hours is this game, finishing the season well, making sure we're set on 12 points and we'll be in a very healthy position if we do that," added Southgate.

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