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Gareth Southgate Admits Not Speaking To Wayne Rooney Ahead Of His Omission

England manager Gareth Southgate says he did not speak to captain Wayne Rooney before leaving him out of the squad for June’s matches with Scotland and France.
England’s all-time leading goalscorer Rooney was overlooked on Thursday because of other players’ “good form”.

The 31-year-old was left out of the previous squad in March due to injury.

“There are only so many times you can speak about it,” said Southgate, who has not yet decided on a new captain.

Southgate added it was “impossible to say” whether Manchester United striker Rooney, who has scored 53 goals in 119 international appearances, would play for England again and that “form will dictate” his inclusion.

“I certainly don’t rule it out because a player of his quality and experience, you hope he will reach the levels we know he can and be a big part of England’s future,” Southgate told BBC Radio 5 live.

“I’m mindful of being respectful of what he’s done so don’t like talking about him in the past tense.

“Knowing Wayne and his mentality he’ll want to prove people wrong, prove me wrong and he’s more than capable of doing that.”

Rooney started only 15 Premier League games for the Red Devils this season.

“I’ve no idea what the future is for Wayne at Manchester United so it’s impossible for me to comment if he’s part of the plans or not,” added Southgate.

“He’s got some big decisions to make this summer – you want your players playing in the biggest possible games.”

Rooney has said he has “more or less” decided his future at Old Trafford and that he would only move to former club Everton if he stays in the Premier League.

Southgate also confirmed that Liverpool right-back Nathaniel Clyne has pulled out of the squad due to injury, with Tottenham right-backs Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier already included.

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