Roy Hodgson said yesterday that he did not want agents “swirling around” the England team hotel and would only permit players to do medicals, as part of transfers, it they were on a day off.
Southampton pair Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana are the subject of offers from Manchester United and Liverpool respectively, and Hodgson was very clear today that players could not be distracted by their club futures over the next few weeks.
“You don’t control players moving or being the subject of transfer speculation, this is something which happens,” Hodgson admitted. “What I make very, very clear to everyone is that I accept the reality of the situation and anything that happens is not going to be allowed to affect us.”
“You sign up for this World Cup and you sign up to do a good job for England. Your club future is what it is and it will be taken care of outside of England time. That is all I can do.”
Hodgson would rather that these issues did not hang over any of the 23 players that fly to Miami on 1 June but of course it is possible that neither Lallana nor Shaw’s proposed moves – to say nothing of the other 21 players – will be resolved before then.
“I was asked: ‘Would you like all of this to be sorted before you go to Miami?’ ” Hodgson said. “Of course I would. It is not an ideal world and that might not happen but the one thing I am going to be very firm on. When we are together with England we are England and it is England that matters. If you have got matters to resolve you do it outside England time. I am thinking about medicals in particular. I can’t stop phone calls.”
“England is England and your club is your club. The two are not married together. I don’t try as England manager to have any effect on you and your club and what you do at your club.”
Hodgson, though, did leave the door open for medicals while the squad are in Miami, should club representatives fly over and the players in question have some spare time to themselves.
“If we were in Miami and it was a last minute thing and they wanted to send a doctor over,” Hodgson suggested, “and we had a free afternoon and could Adam Lallana go and do a medical in his free afternoon, I am not going to say: ‘You can’t do that’. But I am definitely not going to have agents swirling around or having this player having to leave the camp. I would expect the players to understand that.”
Ultimately, Hodgson does not expect any speculation to disrupt the preparation of his players. “There was never a thought in my mind that I might not choose this or that player, who deserves to be there, because this situation could arise.”