Gareth Southgate is concerned by the information being leaked to the media from the England camp in the wake of the incident involving Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez.

Manager Southgate dropped Sterling from the squad for Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifying match with Montenegro after a bust-up between the Manchester City star and Liverpool defender Gomez.

Sterling insisted afterwards that the confrontation, which took place in a private team area of St George's Park, was quickly forgotten about and both players were seen training on Tuesday.

Details of the clash initially appeared in the media shortly before England released an official statement, while specifics about the nature of the confrontation have since continued to emerge.

Southgate suggested he would prefer such information did not find its way out of closed camps and into the public.

"There seems to be all sort of information being passed from so many different areas," he told reporters.

"This is a consequence of the England football team at the moment. That is a very difficult situation and something we have to think about getting forward.

"The team getting out, information getting out – there seems to be so many voices in the background. That's something I have to accept and deal with. Every player has had an opportunity to speak to me if they want to and my view was the group is ready to move forward."

During the World Cup, an apparent England team sheet was leaked ahead of the group game against Panama, after assistant coach Steve Holland was photographed during an open training session with notes referring to a possible line-up.

At the time, Southgate was not hugely concerned by the information on the notes, although he did suggest the decision to publish the photograph was potentially to his team's detriment.

"It doesn't bother me in the slightest," he said in Nizhny Novgorod. "There's a squad of 23 names on the sheet, the next sheet has different players in different positions because we swap people in and swap people out.

"For me, no drama but obviously any time if we were to give the opposition the opportunity of having our team is a disadvantage to us. So, of course, our media has to decide whether they want to help the team or not. But, given that was just a squad list, it doesn't make any difference really."

Defender Ben Chilwell, meanwhile, suggested such leaks are to be expected in modern football – although he admits it is key to have the "full trust" of all players and staff.

"We're a very tight squad but it's not just the team in there," he said on Tuesday. "There's a lot of people who work at the [St George's Park Hilton] hotel involved as well.

"It's not just an England team thing, it happens in club football as well. Stuff does always seem to come out.

"As long as we have full trust that the stuff that needs to stay confidential between the team does then we're happy."

Gareth Southgate presented a united front within his England camp – declaring "I love all of my players" – after his dramatic decision to drop Raheem Sterling over a bust-up with Joe Gomez.

Late on Monday, Southgate confirmed the decision to omit Manchester City forward Sterling from this week's Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro after the altercation at England's St George's Park training base.

Sterling and Liverpool centre-back Gomez clashed on the field during City's 3-1 defeat at Anfield in a highly charged Premier League encounter on Sunday, and the 24-year-old conceded "emotions got the better of me" in a social media post regarding the confrontation the following day.

Southgate credited his senior players for their influence in a resolution that saw Sterling remain with the England squad for training on Tuesday, and he was keen to defuse the situation when he faced a media conference afterwards.

"I think I'm dealing with a very young squad and we're in a sport where emotions often run high," Southgate said.

"I think Raheem in his post last night explained that, for a very brief moment, his emotions ran over.

"It would be correct to say that's not the same for Joe. These things happen in football. Then you have to find a way for the group to move forward.

"That needed some time, it needed time for emotions to calm down across the board. We have some excellent senior players who played a part in bringing everyone together. You need, as a manager, to see that everyone is ready to work together moving forward.

"My priority is always the care and wellbeing of all of my players – all of my players."

When asked whether he was disappointed by Sterling's actions, Southgate added: "I love all of my players. We're like a family and all families have disagreements.

"The most important thing for any family is that you communicate through those disagreements and you work through them."

Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez trained with England on Tuesday after their altercation rocked the build-up to Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro.

Sterling will not be considered for selection when England play their 1,000th international at Wembley this week after an incident in a private team area at St George's Park.

Manchester City forward Sterling clashed with Liverpool defender Gomez during the closing stages of his club's 3-1 defeat at Anfield on Sunday and, in an Instagram post, he conceded he let his emotions get the better of him when the pair were reunited on international duty.

Despite saying he and Gomez had since put the flashpoint behind them, England manager Gareth Southgate decided to take action.

Nevertheless, Sterling is still with the England squad and will be expected to return to the fray for the subsequent trip to Kosovo.

It meant he was in attendance to train at St George's Park alongside Gomez, wrapped up in a snood and woolly hat to guard against the elements.

Gary Neville has backed Southgate's decision to remove Sterling from England's next game, but Rio Ferdinand, the ex-Manchester United defender's team-mate for club and country, accused the Three Lions boss of hanging the 24-year-old "out to dry".

Sterling has scored 18 goals in 21 appearances for City and England in 2019-20.

Scott McTominay and Andrew Robertson have left the Scotland squad ahead of the final Euro 2020 qualifiers with Cyprus and Kazakhstan.

Bournemouth winger Ryan Fraser has also withdrawn, while Leeds United's Liam Cooper pulled out on Monday.

Midfielders Lewis Morgan and Graeme Shinnie have been added to the squad.

Manchester United midfielder McTominay damaged his ankle in the 3-1 Premier League win over Brighton and Hove Albion and had to be substituted.

The 22-year-old is expected to have tests on the problem later this week.

Scotland cannot qualify for Euro 2020 through Group I as they are 12 points behind top two Belgium and Russia with two games to play.

However, they will be involved in the play-offs in March after finishing top of Nations League C, Group 1.

Gareth Southgate made the right decision to drop Raheem Sterling over the incident with England team-mate Joe Gomez, according to Gary Neville.

Manchester City star Sterling is said to have been involved in a bust-up with Liverpool's Gomez in a private team area at St George's Park.

The pair had also been in an altercation during Liverpool's 3-1 Premier League defeat of City at Anfield on Sunday, a result that means the Reds sit nine points clear of the reigning champions.

Sterling – who was dropped from the England squad for Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifying match with Montenegro, the Three Lions' 1,000th international game – accepted his emotions got the better of him but insisted he and Gomez had quickly moved on.

In a statement on Monday, Southgate said the emotions of the Anfield match "were still raw" and that his decision to remove Sterling from consideration for the Montenegro game had the full backing of the squad.

Neville, who won 85 senior caps for England and was assistant to Roy Hodgson between 2012 and 2016, thinks Southgate was right to take reasonably strong action.

"I've been involved in quite a few of these things over the years with England and there is no right or wrong way, in the sense that I've seen managers sweep it under the carpet and try to keep a low profile on these sorts of things," he told Sky Sports.

"I've also seen managers go public, as Gareth has. What I would say is that the decision that Gareth has made... I feel like it's the right one without knowing the detail of what's gone on.

"There's nothing worse than sweeping it under the carpet, and then all the players going back to their own rooms they all share together, and having that feeling that they're all talking about you being weak, and that you've not dealt with it because he's a big player and that he's shied away from a big decision.

"So I feel that it's the right decision. Ultimately, if it's an incident that's happened in front of the rest of the squad that couldn't be dealt with internally and there was a breach of discipline then the manager has to act.

"Sometimes it can cause you some problems down the line, because players can then go back to their own rooms, and say 'the manager's been harsh, there - he's one of our best mates, he's one of our best players.

"But at least, if you're the manager, you know you've made the right decision based upon your principles and your values – that's what you should go with.

"I've seen incidents like this dealt with in both ways with England and there is no ideal because it's so public and the media want their pound of flesh, including ourselves. But the reality is that these things happen in football, and it will blow over."

Former Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany has warned Pep Guardiola not to buy a new defender in January.

City opted not to sign a replacement when Kompany left at the end of last season and Aymeric Laporte is not expected to return for at least another two months after sustaining a knee injury in September.

Guardiola has been left with John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi as his only two senior centre-backs and has been forced to deploy Fernandinho in the role at times this season.

City have looked shaky defensively in recent weeks, keeping only one clean sheet in six games in all competitions, and their concerns at the back were laid bare in Sunday's 3-1 defeat to Premier League leaders Liverpool at Anfield.

Kompany, though, does not think the solution is to spend big money on a reinforcement in the transfer window.

"I don't think they need to sign another defender," he told Sky Sports.

"We always struggle at Anfield. I said that on Super Sunday: you're fighting 25 years of not winning at Anfield and that's difficult, it's two games in one game - you're playing a great team and you're fighting history.

"Flip it around and the same will happen for Liverpool - they will fight the history of not winning the league for 30 years.

"That should be to City's advantage I still think. As to the defence, the best way for City to defend in the past has been to attack. They have no reason to change that.

"As soon as they start reconnecting with the best performances, I'm convinced that we can see a sustainable amount of wins."

The defeat, which leaves City nine points behind Liverpool in the table, was not without its controversy.

The opening goal from Fabinho was allowed to stand despite the ball having struck the arm of Trent Alexander-Arnold in the Liverpool box seconds earlier, with VAR backing referee Michael Oliver's decision not to give City a penalty.

"The incident happens and I'm confused," Kompany said. "That's the problem. I'm confused. I'm thinking 'okay, I'm not the expert in everything'. Then I look to my right at Jose Mourinho, Roy Keane and Graeme Souness. We're all confused.

"Surely that says something about the process, the fact that this could still be for debate when there's a VAR system that is meant to make football simpler and fairer?

"[The] goal happens 20 seconds later. My feeling remains that although Liverpool were great, and both teams tried to play the way they are known to play, I felt this first decision was so important to get right."

Former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira insists Unai Emery deserves to be given time to turn around the Gunners' recent fortunes.

Pressure is mounting on Emery following last Saturday's 2-0 Premier League defeat away to high-flying Leicester City.

Arsenal are already eight points adrift of the top four after 12 matches and have won only once in their past seven games in all competitions.

While it is believed the club hierarchy remain behind Emery, who was appointed as Arsene Wenger's successor after the 2017-18 season, there is a growing discontent among Arsenal supporters who think a change is essential to save their season.

Vieira, a three-time Premier League champion in a glittering Arsenal career, says now is the time to unite behind the under-fire former Paris Saint-Germain boss.

"It's true Arsenal are going through a tough spell," he told reporters on Monday. "But I haven't watched all their matches, so I can't talk about their game.

"They have a coach who is qualified who works well. When a club is having a difficult time, it's important to be united. I think he has enough experience to get them through this difficult spell.

"We have to get behind him and give him time to change things. I am not sure a change of manager will fix the problems."

Wenger, meanwhile, has lately been tipped to make a first return to management since leaving Emirates Stadium.

The 70-year-old told beIN SPORTS last week that he would be holding talks with Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge over the prospect of succeeding Niko Kovac, but he then clarified on Monday that he was not in the running for the job.

Nice head coach Vieira still hopes to see his old manager make a return to the dugout, saying: "I would like to see him coaching again.

"Arsene has a big passion [for football]. I have never met another coach who spends more time watching football games, analysing their opponent's matches, talking about football.

"It's his passion, it's his life. So, I hope he can find another club to coach. It didn't work out with Bayern Munich; maybe it will work out with another team."

Lionel Messi is seemingly in no rush to extend his Barcelona contract.

Messi's future is regularly talked about after it was revealed earlier this year the superstar can leave the LaLiga giants for free at the end of any season.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner is contracted at Barcelona until 2021, though it remains to be seen if he wants to stay on beyond his current deal.

 

TOP STORY – MESSI IN NO RUSH OVER BARCELONA CONTRACT

Messi has no intention of discussing a contract extension at Barcelona until next season, according to Marca.

The 32-year-old plans to be at the club next season, the report says, but will not open talks regarding a new deal.

Messi has been at Barcelona during his entire professional career, winning 10 LaLiga titles and four Champions Leagues among numerous other trophies.

ROUND-UP

- Paris Saint-Germain are looking to the future. Sport reports the Ligue 1 giants are seriously considering a move for Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior. Kylian Mbappe and Neymar have been linked with moves away from PSG and the 19-year-old could help the French club going forward.

- Manchester City and Real Madrid could be set for a transfer battle. The clubs are interested in Real Sociedad and Spain forward Mikel Oyarzabal, according to CalcioMercato. The 22-year-old has scored 29 LaLiga goals since the start of 2017-18.

- Unai Emery has some time. The Sun reports the under-fire Arsenal head coach will be given until 2020 to turn the club's form around. It also reports Manchester City would allow assistant Mikel Arteta – an ex-Arsenal midfielder – to head to Emirates Stadium, should his former club want to appoint the Spaniard.

- Liverpool could strengthen in January. TalkSPORT reports the Premier League leaders are in advanced talks with Bournemouth over a deal to sign winger Ryan Fraser, who is out of contract at the end of the season. Bournemouth may want Harry Wilson – who is on loan from Liverpool – as part of a deal.

- Struggling in ninth in Serie A, Fiorentina may be ready to move on from Vincenzo Montella. The club are ready to make an approach for former Inter coach Luciano Spalletti, according to Firenze Viola.

Manchester United star Paul Pogba moved closer to returning from injury, having his ankle cast removed on Monday.

The France international, who has made just five Premier League appearances this season, has been sidelined since late September.

But Pogba, 26, is getting closer to making a return after having his ankle cast removed.

The midfielder posted a video of the procedure on Instagram.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said recently he expected to be without Pogba until December.

Solskjaer's side are seventh in the Premier League table, nine points adrift of the top four.

Raheem Sterling admitted emotions got the better of him in a bust up with Joe Gomez, but the England star is moving on after being dropped.

Sterling, 24, was reportedly involved in a physical confrontation with Gomez at England's training base on Monday and has been dropped for Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro.

The Manchester City star and Gomez were also involved in an altercation during Liverpool's 3-1 win over the Premier League champions on Sunday.

In a post on Instagram, Sterling said it was time to move on, but admitted he had let his emotions get the better of him.

"First and foremost everyone knows what that game means to me!" he wrote.

"Everyone knows that I am not that way inclined and more to the point ... both Joe and I have had words and figured things out and moved on.

"We are in a sport where emotions run high and I am man enough to admit when emotions got the better of me.

"We move [sic] this is why we play this sport because of our love for it – me and @joegomez5 are good we both understand it was a 5-10 second thing it's done we move forward and not make this bigger than it is.

"Let's get focus [sic] on our game on Thursday."

England are on the verge of qualifying for next year's tournament and face Kosovo in Pristina on Sunday after their clash with Montenegro.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hit out at "b*******" claims amid questions over his promotion to Arsenal captain.

Aubameyang replaced Granit Xhaka as skipper at the Emirates Stadium last week, with Arsenal – and particularly head coach Unai Emery – under enormous pressure.

However, The Athletic reported the forward's promotion to captain had "divided opinion" inside the club, while his relationship with YouTube channel AFTV had "irritated" some.

Aubameyang, who is on international duty with Gabon, dismissed the reports on Instagram on Monday.

"I just arrived in Gabon and heared [sic] a lot of b*******," he wrote.

"I talk with who I want whenever I want and if somebody's not happy with … you already know."

Arsenal are sixth in the Premier League, eight points outside the top four, and are winless in five games in all competitions.

Chelsea star Christian Pulisic has withdrawn from the United States' squad due to a hip injury.

The winger was part of the initial selection for the CONCACAF Nations League fixtures with Canada and Cuba this month.

However, head coach Gregg Berhalter confirmed a joint decision had been made to not risk Pulisic's fitness.

"Christian is officially at this stage ruled out. We just got that information. This was a collaborative decision with the club, looking after the best interest of the player," he said.

"These decisions are always difficult because this group and the coaching staff want nothing more than to have Christian here, but it was a risk we weren't willing to take at this time."

Pulisic has been in great form for a Chelsea side that sit third in the Premier League, scoring five goals in nine top-flight outings during his debut campaign at Stamford Bridge.

Manchester City winger Riyad Mahrez claims he almost joined Arsenal in 2016 and accused Leicester City of costing him "two years at the highest level".

Algeria international Mahrez was the star turn in the Foxes side that shocked the football world to win the Premier League title in the 2015-16 campaign under Claudio Ranieri.

However, the Foxes struggled in their defence the following season and Mahrez sought a move away from the King Power Stadium.

Mahrez finally got his wish in July 2018 when he joined City for a reported £60million and he won a Premier League, FA Cup and EFL Cup treble in his maiden campaign.

But the 28-year-old felt he should have been allowed to move on sooner.

Speaking to France Football, Mahrez said: "After the title-winning year, if I was in a top team, it would not have been the same story.

"For me, it is clear that I lost two years at the very highest level. I lost two years!

"Because instead of being at City at 27, I could have been there at 24 or 25. Leicester blocked me. They told me: 'You cannot go, you cannot go!'

"My agent had talked with [Arsene] Wenger, who really wanted to sign me, [and] it was almost done with Arsenal in the summer of 2016... I was really frustrated.

"It's not easy to go from being the PFA Players' Player of the Year to being part of a team fighting for Premier League survival. It's not the same job.

"Everyone is waiting on you and expects you to perform."

Anthony Martial's return has been crucial to Manchester United's recent upturn in form, according to team-mate Daniel James.

France forward Martial missed almost two months of action with a thigh injury before returning off the bench late in the 1-1 draw against Liverpool on October 20. 

The Red Devils have since won five of their six matches since, with a limp 1-0 loss at Bournemouth the only blot in that run.

Martial, James and Marcus Rashford were in scintillating form as Brighton and Hove Albion were swept aside 3-1 on Sunday, a result that left United seventh heading into the international break.

And James, who turned 22 on Sunday, believes Martial's influence has been pivotal to the recent improvement.

"Since he's come back in, we've got that focal point," James said after the Brighton game. 

"He's a great link-up player. He can come short or go in behind. It's been important for me and for Marcus since he's come back into the team to get that interlink.

"Since he's come back, he's got goals and he's got assists and he's been great for us."

James arrived from Championship side Swansea City in a reported £15million deal in June and has taken on a prominent role in the team, appearing in all 12 Premier League fixtures this term.

The Wales winger concedes he did not expect to feature so much but is relishing the opportunity.

"Coming in was always going to be tough and it was going to be different from playing in the Championship," he added. 

"I think I've taken it in my stride, tried to calm myself down a bit and think, 'I'm here for a reason'.

"At the start of the season, I maybe didn't think I would play as much. Every game I've been learning and the gaffer has trusted me and I've really enjoyed it."

Anthony Martial is still very much part of France's plans going forward despite missing out on selection this time around, says head coach Didier Deschamps.

Manchester United forward Martial has been in fine form for the Red Devils since returning from the thigh injury that ruled him out for two months three weeks ago.

The 23-year-old has scored three goals in his past six outings and has linked well with Marcus Rashford and Daniel James at Old Trafford.

However, Martial – whose last international appearance came in a friendly against Russia in March 2018 – has again been omitted for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers with Moldova and Albania.

Deschamps, though, says he is likely to be included in the future.

"He was part of the French team on a regular basis, but recently he was often injured," he said. 

"He came back not so long ago and it's going well in his role as a central striker with Manchester United.

"But for a long time he's been part of the players likely to be called." 

Olivier Giroud is included despite the experienced striker's limited game time for Chelsea this season.

The 33-year-old has made just six appearances and played just 120 minutes of Premier League football.

Giroud continues to be selected regularly by Deschamps, the former Arsenal forward having earned his trust.

"Maybe that means something but it's mostly what happened on the pitch that means something," he added. 

"If he is the one I used the most, do not forget either the ratio of matches and goals. 

"There are not many in front of him in terms of goals in the history of the France team. He did the right thing, he answered the trust."

Deschamps also expects Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe to be fit to feature even though he missed the 2-1 Ligue 1 win at Brest on Saturday with a muscular issue.

"He [Mbappe] has not arrived yet, [but] will be there," Deschamps said. "There was a communication between the two doctors on the fact it was a precaution.

"There was no particular concern compared to our deadline of Thursday."

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