Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has reportedly clashed with England head coach Gareth Southgate as the Portuguese puts himself on course for another club-versus-country showdown.
The Express say Mourinho does not want Manchester United starlet Rashford to be used in both of England’s final World Cup qualifiers this week as the Three Lions get set to take on Slovenia at Wembley on Thursday before heading to Lithuania on Sunday for their final Group F encounter in Vilnius.
A win against Slovenia would secure Southgate’s team their place in the finals in Russia next summer and render the trip to Vilnius a dead rubber. And should that be the case, Mourinho wants to see Rashford rested.
United face a crunch Premier League clash with Liverpool at Anfield straight after the international break, and Mourinho is hopeful Southgate will be prepared to show he can cope without Rashford for the final match.
Rashford is almost certain to start against Slovenia tomorrow, and is in good form, having scored six goals for both club and country so far this season.
In the summer Southgate left Rashford out of the England Under-21 squad for the European Championships in Poland, but insisted it was not because of pressure from Mourinho. Instead, the England coach named the youngster in the senior squad for the games against Scotland and France, and Rashford played for 65 minutes of the 2-2 draw against Scotland at Hampden Park.
Accoording to Southgate: “I am not in a position where I can make decisions to keep people happy. I’m not going to achieve that.
“If I am trying to keep Jose happy then that’s going to be, let’s say fairly difficult. I have got to make decisions that are right for England long term.” said the England boss as quoted in The Express
The FA expect they could be put under pressure from other clubs to leave key players out of the Lithuania game if qualification is secured.