England manager Roy Hodgson wants the focus solely on international affairs when the players named in the squad to play Scotland arrive for duty, the
Rooney will be joined in the England squad by a number of potential Chelsea teammates – Ashley Cole, Gary Cahill and Frank Lampard – having been the subject of two rejected bids from the Blues this summer. And England get-togethers have been used to tempt players to Stamford Bridge in the past, the newspaper claims – with Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard and Cole, then of Arsenal, becoming aware of Chelsea’s interest while away from their clubs.
Rio Ferdinand, then a Leeds player, was also informed that United wanted to sign him while on England duty, at the 2002 World Cup, with Ferdinand duly moving to Old Trafford after the tournament.
Hodgson however, while acknowledging he cannot prevent Cole and Rooney speaking, has called for the players to focus on beating Scotland, not their club futures. “I think it might be difficult and a little naive to tell him not to talk to any Chelsea players,” Hodgson said.
“Ashley and Wayne are quite close friends and David Moyes must know that as well – if they weren’t speaking in a hotel, they would be speaking on the telephone,” he continued, adding: “I do accept a duty of care. I will try to make it clear to everybody, both the Chelsea players and the Manchester United players, that this is England.
“As far as we’re concerned [it’s], ‘You can speak as much as you like to each other, but during these two or three days, this is England. I don’t expect anybody for one minute to fracture their concentration from what’s important.’”
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