England striker Jamie Vardy has announced his intention to step down from international duty as he turns to focus on his Leicester career.
Although Vardy has agreed “not [to] shut the door completely” on England, he has made clear his desire to spend more time with his family and club.
The 32-year-old has also accepted he is unlikely to feature much for the national side given his age and the plethora of attacking options currently available to England manager Gareth Southgate.
Vardy said he would only return to England duty in the event of a major injury crisis.
“To be honest with you, this has been on my mind for a while,” Vardy told The Guardian. “I’m not getting any younger and you can see, to be fair to the gaffer, he wants to make it more youthful, which obviously had its benefits during the World Cup.
“So I just said to Gareth that I think it’s probably best from now on, especially with the way he wants to go, to bring youngsters in who he thinks have got the ability and start nurturing them into international football.”
Following the conclusion of England's World Cup campaign, during which he was handed limited playing opportunities, Vardy explained to Southgate he was thinking of stepping down from international duty.
Ahead of England's squad announcement this week, the forward reiterated to Southgate that his intentions had not changed.
Vardy added: "When you get selected, you want to be playing. If you’re playing week in, week out for your club, you want to be going to England to play as well.
"And if it’s not happening, then for me personally now, at this age, it’s better to be at home, spending that time with my family and training with my club, preparing for the next game after the international break.”
Vardy's announcement was immediately followed by Gary Cahill's decision to "step back" from international commitments in order to concentrate on life at Chelsea.
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