England players set price for glory

Click to follow
The Independent Football

The news came after Ledley King emerged as England's main injury concern ahead of the international friendly against Argentina on Saturday. He missed the squad's first training session ahead of the game yesterday because of a knee injury. The withdrawal of the Tottenham captain from the friendly could force Sven Goran Eriksson to abandon his plans to play a holding midfielder and switch back to a flat midfield.

King is expected to train today with the England squad and will undergo a scan on his knee but is still rated as doubtful to play against Argentina.

The defender, 25, suffered the injury in Tottenham's defeat to Bolton Wanderers on Monday and now Eriksson will have to decide whether to replace him with either Michael Carrick or Alan Smith in the squad or return to a flat midfield four with Joe Cole on the left wing.

The England players and the FA met at the team's Lowry Hotel in Manchester yesterday to discuss the bonus terms with Beckham leading a committee of players that included Michael Owen, Sol Campbell and David James as well as Gary Neville who attended the negotiations despite being injured and not included in the squad to face Argentina in Geneva.

The players' bonus deal of £300,000 per man is based on appearances but is greater than the £250,000 on offer for the Euro 2004 squad which went out to Portugal after the group stages. The discussions between the two sides were described by Owen as "amicable" and the sums of money reflect the windfall that the FA would hope to make should England be successful in Germany next summer.

Owen said last night: "There's no problem, we had a meeting and everything is fine between us... It was all amicable but you don't sign a contract there and then."