GARETH SOUTHGATE has admitted he rejected a plea from Harry Maguire to reinstate him into the England squad for tonight’s Iceland clash.
The England boss axed the Manchester United skipper, 27, having initially called him up to face Iceland and Denmark in Nations League matches.
He was convicted of bribery, aggravated assault and resisting arrest while on holiday in Mykonos.
But after Maguire appealed against his conviction and a suspended jail sentence, he was free to play and asked Southgate to bring him back.
Southgate said: “We’ve talked right the way through, very openly and honestly and, of course, Harry would prefer to be here with the team.
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“He wants to play football and he wants to be part of it.
“But I think with everything that’s gone on in his life in the last couple of weeks, it was so important that he’s been able to let everything just calm down and get some more time on holiday.
“He now has the chance to re-energise, get back to training with his club and then, all being well, he’ll be with us in October.”
England have matches with Wales, Belgium and Denmark next month.
SunSport revealed yesterday that some of England’s coaching staff wanted Maguire back in the squad.
But FA chiefs were against the idea and the manager decided against a recall.
When questioned by talkSPORT over whether he regretted including Maguire in his original party, Southgate said: “No. Not at all. I felt it was important to support our player.
“I always knew that the timing of the case was potentially going to mean we would have to change something in a relatively short period.”
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