Rio Ferdinand return unlikely says Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson


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The Independent Football

Sir Alex Ferguson does not expect Rio Ferdinand to be recalled to the England set-up, admitting it would be difficult for national team boss Roy Hodgson to bring back the Manchester United defender now after leaving him out of his Euro 2012 squad.

Ferdinand's international future became the subject of speculation again following John Terry's shock decision to quit England ahead of his Football Association racism hearing.

Hodgson said he had left Ferdinand out of his Euro 2012 squad for "footballing reasons", insisting it had nothing to do with Terry having been accused of racially abusing Ferdinand's brother Anton during a Barclays Premier League game at October 23.

And United manager Ferguson does not see the position changing now.

"It's entirely up to Rio but I wouldn't think he'll get called up," said Ferguson.

"Roy made his decision for the European Championship and I can't see him changing that.

"It would be difficult for him to go to Rio now and welcome him back."

Ferdinand has said he would never turn his back on England, even if privately he believed his international career was destined to end on 81 caps.

"You never know," said Ferguson. "But I think it's difficult.

"I don't know if Rio would do it - I haven't asked him."

Hodgson does have alternatives to Ferdinand. But Joleon Lescott and Phil Jagielka struggled when Terry missed the World Cup qualifier with Ukraine at Wembley earlier this month.

Gary Cahill was also in Hodgson's squad, having missed out on Euro 2012 through injury, but only has 10 caps, while Manchester United duo Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are both presently missed with foot and knee problems respectively.