Virgil van Dijk has been released from the Netherlands squad to face Estonia for personal reasons.

The Liverpool centre-back completed 90 minutes on Saturday as Ronald Koeman's side battled to a 0-0 draw in Northern Ireland, securing their place at Euro 2020 with a game to spare in qualification.

Top spot in Group C is still up for grabs heading into Tuesday's game versus Estonia at the Johan Cruijff ArenA, with Germany two points ahead going into their own match against Northern Ireland, although captain Van Dijk will not take part.

"National team coach Ronald Koeman cannot rely on VirgiI van Dijk on Tuesday against Estonia," read a short statement from the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB). 

"The captain of the Dutch national team has to [miss] the game due to personal circumstances and has since left the Oranje training camp."

Van Dijk's next engagement with Premier League leaders Liverpool is a trip to Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Liverpool have offered support to former defender Dominic Matteo and his family after he underwent an operation on a brain tumour.

The 45-year-old, who also played for Leeds United, Blackburn Rovers, Stoke City and Scotland during a 17-year playing career, had an operation on Monday and is being treated in hospital after being released from intensive care.

Matteo emerged from the Liverpool academy and made his first league appearance for the Reds in October 1993.

He made 155 appearances for the club before joining Leeds, where he formed part of the team that reached the 2001 Champions League semi-finals.

A statement on Liverpool's official website said: "We wish Dom a full and speedy recovery and will offer any support we can to his wife and family.

"Dom's family would like to place on record their gratitude to all staff at Leeds General Infirmary and express their thanks for all of the messages of support they have received."

Liverpool pair Joe Gomez and Jordan Henderson have been ruled out of England's final Euro 2020 qualifier against Kosovo on Sunday.

Gomez, 22, sustained a knock to the knee in training on Friday and will not travel with the rest of Gareth Southgate's squad, an England statement confirmed.

The injury caps a tumultuous few days for the defender, who was involved in a bust-up with Raheem Sterling earlier in the week.

Some fans booed Gomez when he was introduced as a second-half substitute during England's clinical 7-0 win over Montenegro at Wembley.

Southgate and Sterling expressed bewilderment over the treatment of the young centre-back and England will now be without him as the Three Lions wrap up their Group A campaign, having already sealed qualification.

Henderson was not involved against Montenegro after arriving in camp with a viral infection, which has not fully cleared.

"The pair have returned to their club meaning the Three Lions will head to Pristina on Saturday with a 23-man squad," the statement concluded.

Premier League leaders Liverpool will hope to have both players available when their title tilt resumes away to Crystal Palace on November 23.

Virgil van Dijk is focused purely on ensuring Netherlands complete the job and qualify for Euro 2020, not on Liverpool's Premier League title bid.

The Reds defeated reigning champions Manchester City 3-1 at Anfield on Sunday to open up an eight-point gap at the top of the table, with Pep Guardiola's side nine back.

Powerful centre-back Van Dijk was asked by Sky Sports whether establishing such a commanding lead made it feel like this season could see Liverpool end a 30-year wait for top-flight glory.

But Van Dijk will not look beyond Saturday's contest with Northern Ireland in Belfast, where a point will be enough for Netherlands to book their place in the Euros.

"I'm not gonna say that [it feels like Liverpool's year]," he said. 

"It's something for the media. For players the main thing is we focus on the game ahead of us. 

"For me personally it's Northern Ireland, it's a tough task. What happens with Liverpool in the future we'll see, we have no influence on it, the season is so long. My focus is on the next game, at the moment that's [with our] national teams."

Van Dijk could be joined in the Premier League by international team-mate Memphis Depay, with the Lyon forward linked with a move to Tottenham or a return to Manchester United.

Depay endured an unhappy 18-month stay at Old Trafford before moving to Ligue 1 in January 2017, but Van Dijk feels he would be an asset to any team.  

"He's a fantastic player, a very important player for our team here at the moment, wherever he goes in the near future it will be a good thing for him," he added.

"But he's still at Lyon at the moment you have to respect that, until things happen you have to see how they go."

Jadon Sancho could be about to spark a bidding war.

The England international is reportedly ready to leave Borussia Dortmund, a development that will have his numerous European suitors on red alert.

Manchester United have long been linked to Sancho, but could face stiff Premier League competition for his signature.


TOP STORY – SANCHO SEEKING DORTMUND DEPARTURE

Jadon Sancho has become unsettled at Borussia Dortmund and wants to leave, according to the Daily Mail.

The exciting teenage winger is said to have grown dissatisfied with life at Signal Iduna Park after being dropped for a Bundesliga fixture last month for disciplinary reasons.

Head coach Lucien Favre further tested their relationship when he withdrew the Manchester City product before half-time of the heavy Der Klassiker loss to Bayern Munich.

News of Sancho's decision to depart will be noted at Old Trafford, but the report claims Manchester United's bitter Premier League rivals Liverpool are also showing strong interest. 

LaLiga giants Real Madrid appear to be another potential destination for one of the continent's most coveted young stars.

 

ROUND-UP

- Sancho could be heading in the opposite direction to Leroy Sane. The Daily Mirror says Bayern Munich have reignited their interest in the Germany international, who has been sidelined since the start of the season due to a knee injury.

- Granit Xhaka is not the only Arsenal midfielder on AC Milan's radar. According to Calciomercato, the Rossoneri are even more eager to land Lucas Torreira, and will make a move in June after failing to prise him away from north London at the end of last season.

- Chelsea are set for another fight to keep in-form winger Willian as Juventus and Barcelona circle the 31-year-old, the Daily Mirror reports. Frank Lampard wants to keep the Brazilian at Stamford Bridge but Willian's contract is up at the end of the campaign.

- Manchester City captain David Silva could follow in the footsteps of Andres Iniesta, Fernando Torres and David Villa by seeing out his career in Japan. Spanish television programme El Chiringuito says the 33-year-old is in talks to join Vissel Kobe following the completion of his 10-season spell at the Etihad Stadium.

- Leicester City and Aston Villa have been linked to Alfredo Morelos but Rangers are in no rush to sell. That is the assurance of the Scottish side's new sporting director Ross Wilson, who "categorically" stated that an annual loss of £11.3million would not impact the club's determination to keep their Colombian striker.

Lionel Messi has earned his first inclusion in FIFA Ultimate Team's Team of the Week this season following his stunning hat-trick in Barcelona's 4-1 win over Celta Vigo.

Barca – who went into the game having not won either of their previous two matches – appeared to be in a spot of bother on Saturday when Lucas Olaza cancelled out Messi's penalty.

But two stunning free-kicks either side of the break lifted a generally sloppy Barca and Sergio Busquets completed the scoring late on.

Messi is joined in the TOTW's attack by arguably Europe's deadliest striker in Robert Lewandowski, whose brace in the 4-0 crushing of his former club – and Bayern Munich's bitter rivals – Borussia Dortmund took him to a remarkable 16 Bundesliga goals from 11 matches.

Salzburg hotshot Erling Haaland is enjoying a similarly incredible campaign. The Norwegian youngster netted hat-trick number five of the season at the weekend, but he only takes a place among the substitutes.

Below, we examine the entire squad that is now up for grabs online.

FUT Team of the Week

GK: Wojciech Szczesny (Juventus/Piemonte Calcio) – 87

RB: Ander Capa (Athletic Bilbao) – 82

LB: Alex Telles (Porto) – 86

LB: Andrew Robertson (Liverpool) – 86

RB: Ricardo Pereira (Leicester City) – 84

CM: Nicolo Barella (Inter) – 83

CDM: Donny van de Beek (Ajax) – 84

LW: Dimitri Payet (Marseille) – 84

CAM: Radja Nainggolan (Cagliari) – 86

ST: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) – 91

RW: Lionel Messi (Barcelona) – 95

SUBSTITUTES

GK: Ben Foster (Watford) – 83

CB: Sergiy Kryvtsov (Shakhtar Donetsk) – 81

LM: Mislav Orsic (Dinamo Zagreb) – 82

LM: Denis Bouanga (Saint-Etienne) – 81

RW: Patrick Herrmann (Borussia Monchengladbach) – 81

ST: Erling Haaland (Salzburg) – 82

ST: Rouwen Hennings (Fortuna Dusseldorf) – 80

RESERVES

CF: Henry Martin (Club America) – 80

LM: Victor Rodriguez (Seattle Sounders) – 79

RWB: Christopher Trimmel (Union Berlin) – 79

ST: Cyriel Dessers (Heracles) – 76

ST: Christian Doidge (Hibernian) – 75

Gareth Southgate can understand if Raheem Sterling is not "hugely enthusiastic" about him after dropping the Manchester City star for his part in an altercation with Joe Gomez, but is hopeful time heals any ill-feeling.  

England confirmed on Monday Sterling would not to be considered for selection when Montenegro visit this Thursday following a bust-up with Gomez.

The pair clashed during Sunday's Premier League match between Manchester City and Liverpool and were involved in an incident in a private area of England's St George's Park training base.

Details appeared in the media before England released a statement to confirm a row had taken place and that Sterling had been dropped as a consequence. 

Some former players have suggested Southgate had been too heavy-handed in his approach and the manager accepts Sterling may not be keen on him for the time being.

"Well, I wouldn’t imagine that he's hugely enthusiastic [about Southgate], but I can understand that," he told reporters on Wednesday.

"In the end, he's with the group, that's the most important thing. He's a massive part of what we do – has been, will be.

"He's with us for the game, he's back with the team on the training pitch enjoying his football. [He] trained superbly well, as he always does. So, for me, the thing is finished.

"I know, as a player, my relationship with my managers and how I felt about them changed day to day, and there were many occasions when I had the hump with them, usually when I wasn’t in the team.

"So, I understand that, I hope that time takes its course on those things. As a manager, you hope that you bring lots of good moments for players.

"There are those occasions where you give them their debut, you give them the chance to play, but there are inevitably occasions when you don't start them, where you have to take them off, and that will always be the landscape.

"I hope that all of my players know that, first and foremost, I care about them, that I want to be fair with them, that I want to do what's right for all of them, and that they can lean on me when they need me.

"And I also accept that, at times, they're not going to be bouncing with joy when they see my face walking through the meal room.

"So, that is part and parcel of being a manager, and if you're not up for that challenge, then [it's] better to go and do something else."

The Sterling and Gomez controversy comes just before a vital couple of matches, with England still to secure their place at Euro 2020.

Despite the poor timing of such a situation, Southgate insists life is rarely simple with England.

When asked if the past week had been the trickiest as England boss, Southgate said: "Most of them are pretty difficult weeks.

"I don't remember many… I don't know what a normal week with England would be, frankly. So, the key is always to go and win the football matches and that's where my focus has been for the last 48 hours and for the three weeks before that.

"So, any manager of any big club or big nation knows that all of those situations are difficult. We're under huge scrutiny for performance and everything else, so I haven't viewed this as any more or less difficult than anything else."

Harry Maguire insists there are "definitely no cliques" in the England squad despite the altercation between Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez this week.

Sterling has been dropped for Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro at Wembley after confronting England team-mate Gomez on Monday.

The two players had clashed the previous day, as Sterling's Manchester City were beaten 3-1 by Gomez and Liverpool, the Premier League leaders and the winger's former club.

Yet Manchester United defender Maguire is confident issues between players from rival clubs will not continue to dog England as they reportedly have in the past.

Asked at a pre-match news conference if there were any club cliques in the squad, Maguire replied: "No, everybody mixes.

"I think you've seen how good the unity in the squad is over the last couple of years. It's been a good two years and the group has grown together. We continue to keep on growing and that's really important.

"No, definitely no cliques. We all share tables and share jokes and laughs together."

England need just a point against Montenegro to qualify for the finals, where they would play a number of matches at their own Wembley home.

Maguire is hopeful, should the Three Lions' secure their progress, the home crowd can be a big factor next year.

"It would be really special to play in a major tournament and walking out at Wembley would be something that you dream of," he said. "People say it would give us a little advantage as well.

"We know that the crowd get right behind us at Wembley and the support over the last few years – especially since I've been playing – has been unbelievable.

"It's a big game [against Montenegro] and one that we're all looking forward to and we feel prepared for."

England's hopes at the Euros would also depend on improved defensive showings, though, with a number of individual mistakes hampering their qualification campaign so far.

Maguire added: "Obviously, we're coming off the back of a clean sheet [in a 6-0 win in Bulgaria], but we've conceded a few sloppy goals recently. I'm not proud of it and we're working hard on the training pitch to make that better.

"We know the firepower we have in our squad. We've got to a stage now where we're scoring near enough in every game, and we're creating problems for other people's defences.

"So my job and I'm sure all the rest of the defenders and the keepers as a group, we'll try to shut the shop up and start keeping clean sheets a lot more regularly."

Rodri believes Pep Guardiola is pushing his game to new heights at Manchester City.

Spain midfielder Rodri became City's record signing when he joined from Atletico Madrid for £62.8million in July.

The 23-year-old has operated predominantly at the base of Guardiola's midfield – a key position in City's system and the role the coach himself occupied during his playing days at Barcelona.

Rodri has produced some eye-catching performances but also started each of City's three Premier League defeats this term, including his return from a hamstring strain for Sunday's 3-1 loss at Liverpool that leaves the reigning champions nine points shy of the runaway leaders.

Speaking at a news conference ahead of his country's concluding Euro 2020 qualifiers against Malta and Romania, Rodri conceded he is enduring a fairly steep learning curve.

"I haven't been there much time, but since the beginning of the season I have added a lot of new knowledge," he said.

"[Guardiola] is how he shows himself in front of the cameras. He has a competitive edge, this desire to put pressure on the rivals, to study and analyse how to harm them. He is a workaholic, he dedicates the 24 hours of the day to his players, to himself and to find the way to win matches.

"At an individual level, it has helped me a lot that he played in the same position than me. He gives me lots of advice on how he sees football. I am growing a lot, not only tactically, but individually in many aspects I wasn't aware that a central midfielder should have, like driving the ball – something that is demanded in the Premier League.

"Obviously there are more factors than the coach that have an influence, but we have the best coach in that sense."

Injuries to the specialists in Guardiola's squad also saw Rodri pressed into action as an emergency centre-back for consecutive games against Crystal Palace and Atalanta last month.

"I am discovering myself also as a player. Guardiola asked me how I see myself there [as central defender] and I decided to try because the team needed me," he explained.

"Obviously there is always a time of adaptation, but because of my physical and technical characteristics, I also think that there is something in common with my normal position, apart from certain new aspects.

"It is true that the new position is a bit more delicate, but with time I think I could perfectly adapt myself.

"My virtues make me shine more as central midfielder, but with time I could also do well as central defender."

For now, Rodri is ready to continue the challenge of establishing himself as an influential midfield presence in a league noted for its frenetic pace.

"The Premier League is, along with LaLiga, the most competitive league," he added.

"This football is more vertical and makes you learn because you are not used to it. I am a more complete player.

"There are great teams in England that make you compete at the maximum level, the same as here in Spain. I feel I have a big room for improvement."

Jurgen Klopp feels last weekend's 3-1 win over Manchester City is only the start as Liverpool chase down a first league title in 30 years.

Goals from Fabinho, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane secured Klopp's Premier League leaders the victory against the reigning champions at Anfield, opening up an eight-point advantage at the summit.

Unbeaten Liverpool are also nine points better off than City, having won 11 of their 12 league outings so far in 2019-20.

Klopp believes such form is "pretty much impossible" and knows there is plenty of road to travel in a title race that my still include nearest challengers Leicester City and Chelsea.

"It's just the start, that's how it is, everybody knows that," he told Liverpool's official website.

"If you would have told me that you can have 34 points [at this stage of the season], wow! It's pretty much impossible but we did it.

"But now the boys go for the last international break of the year. They have to come back healthy. You saw it how intense it was [against City].

"Hopefully they all come back healthy and then we go to Crystal Palace. I think the last games are somewhere on the planet on Tuesday in the week that we play on Saturday against Crystal Palace.

"So they will fly back on the Wednesday, Thursday have a recovery session and Friday, Saturday, 'Hello, Crystal Palace!'.

"That's the situation so nothing happens so far but it's still the best situation we could have asked for so let's hope we can carry on."

Bernardo Silva pulled a goal back at the weekend for City, who missed several chances as they applied pressure throughout the contest.

However, Klopp felt this was to be expected and remains delighted with the clinical nature of Liverpool's display that was not derailed by influential pair Roberto Firmino and Jordan Henderson feeling under the weather.

"You saw in the last 15 minutes when City gets control of the game then it's like it is," he said.

"Difficult but okay, we were obviously tired then and a couple of players felt a little bit of a cold. Hendo, Bobby at half-time, it was really difficult. It was clear at one point we had to make changes there then it’s difficult to adapt.

"Then they get the momentum in the situation when we want to change, scored the goal and had a few more moments.

"But come on, you cannot win against City with no dangerous moments or whatever. Their quality is too high, it's too big, so I'm completely fine with what we did because we did it our way and I liked that a lot."

Callum Hudson-Odoi described Raheem Sterling as his "idol" and insisted the forward remains a big leader in the England dressing room, despite his altercation with fellow team-mate Joe Gomez.

Manchester City star Sterling has been dropped for Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro after a reported coming together with Liverpool defender Gomez at England's St George's Park training base on Monday.

The pair clashed on the field during Liverpool's 3-1 win over City at Anfield on Sunday and Sterling conceded his emotions "got the better" of him as he explained the incident that took place the following day.

England boss Gareth Southgate was keen to defuse the situation when he faced the media on Tuesday and Hudson-Odoi has also leapt to the defence of Sterling, who has earned praise in the past for his stance on wider issues such as racism.

"Raheem's a very nice guy, very encouraging, very positive about everything he does," Chelsea teenager Hudson-Odoi said, according to several British newspapers.

"When I first came in, I didn't expect him to be so nice. Of course he is a nice person but when you see somebody always welcoming you, just talking to you, giving you advice on how he plays and just being around you a lot it makes you feel so welcome in the team.

"Someone like Raheem is like an idol to me. The position he plays, and what he's doing for club and country, is an amazing thing, which I will try to replicate myself. It is an amazing feeling to have someone like him doing what he's doing and being around you every time. I want to keep learning off what he does.

"He's a big leader in the team because he's a very top player, he's in club and country playing every game, working really hard, scoring a lot of goals, so someone like that to have a say on racism it is a big feeling for all of us. He is sticking up for everyone who is involved in the game. It is a great feeling to know he's going to do that."

Sterling will play no part against Montenegro at Wembley but is in Southgate's plans for the trip to Kosovo three days later.

He took part in training alongside Gomez on Tuesday and Hudson-Odoi is confident the matter has been dealt with.

"What's happened, happened," he said. "It is a situation where we have dealt with it as a team. 

"We have moved on it. We have had a little talk with each other, and made sure everything is OK. We just want to move on as a team and focus on the game on Thursday."

England require a point from their games with Montenegro and Kosovo to secure a place at Euro 2020.

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah has been ruled out of Egypt's Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Kenya and Comoros due to a persistent ankle injury.

Salah has been managing an issue since hobbling out of Liverpool's win over Leicester City last month, having been on the end of a rugged late challenge from Hamza Choudhury.

The 27-year-old looked to be in pain again in Sunday's mammoth clash with Manchester City.

He was caught by Fernandinho during Liverpool's 3-1 victory, initially staying down before playing on until the 87th minute, and was seen with his foot strapped up at full-time.

Salah joined up with his international team-mates on Monday, but the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) has announced Salah will play no part against Kenya or Comoros.

"Medical tests have confirmed Salah is not ready for Kenya and Comoros," a statement on the EFA's official Twitter page read.

Salah has nine goals in all competitions for Liverpool this season, including five in his past seven outings.

Egypt face Kenya in Alexandria in their first qualifier of the group stage on Thursday before travelling to Moroni four days later.

Raheem Sterling will continue to be an influential figure for England despite the fallout from his spat with international team-mate Joe Gomez, says Three Lions left-back Ben Chilwell.

Sterling has been dropped for Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro after an altercation with Gomez at England's St George's Park training base on Monday.

Manchester City forward Sterling and Liverpool defender Gomez clashed on the field during the Reds' 3-1 win over the reigning Premier League champions at Anfield on Sunday and the 24-year-old conceded his "emotions got the better of me" in a social media post relating to the incident.

Gomez and Sterling both trained with England on Tuesday, the latter remaining with Southgate's squad for Sunday's trip to Kosovo.

Leicester defender Chilwell spoke at a news conference after the session and alluded to Sterling's growing stature as an influential figure on and off the field for club and country of late.

"It's very easy to forget how much Raheem's done positively for English football over the past year or two," he said.

"Yeah, he's made a mistake but he's still a very big character in the dressing room and a very important character for us in the dressing room."

Chilwell revealed Sterling and Gomez both spoke at a team meeting on Monday and insisted the squad were behind Southgate's decision.

"Gareth obviously spoke about the situation and spoke about what he thought. He also wanted to know what we thought of it as well," he said.

"Joe and Raheem got the chance to talk as well, which they both wanted to do.

"Raheem was apologetic. He said it's not in his nature - which it's not - but we all know as football players that emotions can run high.

"There's no one trying to make excuses for him, including himself, but two days ago was a very emotional game. Two great sides battling it out. Things are going to get heated. They've both moved on and both squashed it.

"Gareth didn't want to make the decision himself. He wanted to come to the right decision with the leadership group.

"Obviously it got spoken about between the leadership group and Gareth, and the decision has been made and we're all very on board with that."

This flashpoint comes on the back of the far more serious matter of England players, including Sterling, being subjected to racist abuse during last month's 6-0 win in Bulgaria.

Chilwell believes Southgate's squad will be able to draw strength from such moments of adversity.

"I think it does help us a lot," he added. It's very easy to look at it in a negative light - with the Bulgaria game and what's gone on over the last few days.

"But with how close we are as a squad, I think it's very easy to spin it into a positive.

"It's going to make us stronger hopefully going into [Euro 2020] if we can win these next few games."

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."

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