Joshua Kimmich says he would not be against the return of Pep Guardiola to Bayern Munich.

The Manchester City manager is being linked with a possible return to the Allianz Arena at the end of the 2019-20 season.

Guardiola, who was a rumoured target for Juventus before they appointed Maurizio Sarri, is said to be one of Bayern's top candidates as a permanent successor to Niko Kovac, who left in the wake of the 5-1 Bundesliga defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Although Hansi Flick appears likely to stay on as interim boss for the time being, and perhaps until the end of the season, Kimmich would not be averse to Guardiola's return next year.

Speaking at a news conference while on Germany duty, the Bayern full-back said: "Regarding Pep Guardiola. I have no idea what Bayern's plan is with Hansi Flick.

"At first you thought that we would get a new coach after the international break. Now, we won both games with Flick and it sounds like he will stay until winter or even the entire season. What happens then is the business of the club – we players have nothing to do with it.

"But of course, I know [Guardiola] and have a lot to thank him for. He took me from the second division and let me play in the Bundesliga. We won the double together and after that season I became a player for Germany. So, of course, I won't be against him coming back."

Kimmich joined from RB Leipzig ahead of 2015-16, Guardiola's final season in charge of Bayern, and won the domestic double.

In total, Guardiola guided Bayern to three Bundesliga titles, two DFB-Pokals, the UEFA Super Cup and the Club World Cup in his three years in charge.

He could not deliver the Champions League, though, losing to Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid at the semi-final stage in each of his three seasons in Germany.

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.

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."

Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva has been given a one-match suspension as punishment for a racially insensitive tweet posted in September, the Football Association (FA) has confirmed.

The FA charged Silva at the start of October and the Portugal international has admitted a breach of the organisation's Rule E3.

Silva, 25, is set to miss City's home Premier League game against Chelsea after the international break, while he has also been fined £50,000 and must complete face-to-face education.

The former Monaco player tweeted – and subsequently deleted – a photo of team-mate Benjamin Mendy as a youngster and a dated image from Spanish confectionary brand Conguitos that has been criticised for its racist connotations.

A statement issued by the FA read: The Manchester City midfielder's social media activity on September 22, 2019 breached FA Rule E3(1), as it was insulting and/or improper and/or brought the game into disrepute, and constituted an "Aggravated Breach", which is defined in FA Rule E3(2), as it included reference, whether expressed or implied, to race and/or colour and/or ethnic origin."

As part of Silva's submission to the FA following his charge, Mendy wrote a letter backing his close friend and insisting no offence had been taken.

Raheem Sterling also backed his team-mate publicly, although two lengthy and impassioned defences from manager Pep Guardiola in the aftermath appeared to inflame the matter.

In the Independent Regulatory Commission's written reasons provided to the FA, Silva's "exemplary previous good character" was acknowledged, along with an acceptance that "the player did not himself intend the post to be insulting or in any way racist", given he had "grown up in a country where both the brand and the character were familiar and considered inoffensive".

They added: "However, this was not a private jocular communication between two friends, The post was on a social media platform exposed to the 600,000 followers of a high-profile and well-respected professional footballer.

"It was quickly observed and reported upon by elements of the media. To his credit, the player removed the tweet from his account within a period of some 45 minutes or so."

Silva was voted City's player of the season in 2018-19 as they completed an unprecedented domestic treble, before starring in Portugal's triumph at the inaugural Nations League Finals.

He scored his fifth Premier League goal of the current campaign during last Sunday's 3-1 defeat to leaders Liverpool at Anfield.

Manuel Neuer would not be drawn on a potential reunion with Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich, saying only that "things are going very well" under Hansi Flick.

Bayern are without a permanent head coach following Niko Kovac's sacking, with former assistant Flick in caretaker charge for impressive wins over Olympiacos and Borussia Dortmund.

Manchester City manager Guardiola, Bayern coach from 2013 to 2016, could potentially make an incredible return, according to Sport Bild.

Thomas Tuchel, at Paris Saint-Germain, and Erik ten Hag, at Ajax, have each reiterated their commitment to their current clubs, while the report claims Guardiola "does not seem happy" at City, where he has won back-to-back Premier League titles.

The seemingly unlikely prospect of Guardiola linking up with Bayern again was put to goalkeeper Neuer while on international duty with Germany.

The Bayern stalwart preferred to focus on Flick's fine start, though, saying: "Of course, I can't comment on the rumours.

"We are now here with the national team, I hear [about Guardiola] for the first time. You will see what happens and how those responsible decide.

"At the moment, things are going very well. In the last six days, Hansi Flick has invested everything with his coaching team. We have been very successful twice.

"The people in charge will take a stand [by appointing Guardiola instead] if they want to."

Guardiola won the Bundesliga title in each of his three seasons with Bayern but, having twice triumphed in Europe at Barcelona, failed to deliver the Champions League.

Bayern had been European champions when he arrived in Munich in 2013, replacing Jupp Heynckes.

Neuer was speaking ahead of Germany's Euro 2020 qualifying double-header against Belarus and Northern Ireland, where they will hope to secure their place in next year's finals.

Various scenarios could see Germany through after the first match but Neuer said: "Of course, we want to win the home games and get six points. That's our clear goal."

Leroy Sane could once again become a target for Bayern Munich during the January transfer window.

Manchester City winger Sane was heavily linked with a move to the Bundesliga champions but damaged his anterior cruciate ligament during August's Community Shield encounter against Liverpool.

Sane underwent surgery and is targeting a return in the new year, when interest from Bayern could also re-emerge.

“There were discussions over Sane,” Bayern board member Edmund Stoiber told Sport Bild.

"The unfortunate injury and the surgery he required for it broke the deal up.

"We'll see how things develop. As chairman of the advisory board and a member of the supervisory board, I have great faith in the sporting leadership.

"If they propose a transfer of this magnitude, that is justified."

Sane joined City from Schalke in August 2016 for a fee in the region of £37million.

The 23-year-old has scored 25 goals and supplied 28 assists over the course of 89 Premier League appearances, winning back-to-back titles in the past two seasons.

His contract at the Etihad Stadium expires at the end of the 2020-21 campaign.

"We want him to stay here because we [have been trying] to extend the contract for more than one year," City manager Pep Guardiola said in August when speculation over Bayern moving for Sane was at its height.

"We were quite close a month ago and now it's a little bit different but that’s the reality - I can’t say any more. That's where it is."

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."

AC Milan are desperate to add some firepower, but the Serie A side may not be opting for Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Ibrahimovic, 38, has been linked with a return to San Siro as the superstar prepares to leave LA Galaxy at the end of his contract.

However, Milan are considering their options.

 

TOP STORY – MILAN LOOK ELSEWHERE AMID IBRAHIMOVIC LINKS

AC Milan are eyeing Napoli star Dries Mertens and Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic, according to Tuttosport.

Stefano Pioli's men are struggling in 14th in Serie A, having scored just 11 goals in 12 league games.

Krzysztof Piatek is Milan's leading goalscorer in the league, but he has managed just three in 12.

The report says Ibrahimovic remains an option in the background.

ROUND-UP

- Juventus stars are expecting an apology from Cristiano Ronaldo after his outburst on Sunday, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. Ronaldo reportedly left the stadium after being substituted in the second half of Juve's 1-0 win over Milan.

- Expect movement at Barcelona in January. Sport reports the LaLiga champions could sell Ivan Rakitic, Carles Alena and Moussa Wague without making any additions. Meanwhile, ESPN FC says Barcelona consider €100million too high a price to pay for Salzburg star Erling Haaland.

- Dani Olmo is still attracting interest from Europe's biggest clubs. CalcioMercato reports the Spanish attacker is ready to leave Dinamo Zagreb, who want €40m amid interest from Manchester City, AC Milan and Roma.

- Amid a lack of playing time at Real Madrid, Brahim Diaz and Mariano have been offered to Espanyol, according to Sport. Brahim has played just 18 LaLiga minutes this season, while Mariano is yet to feature in 2019-20.

- Andrea Belotti is set to re-sign with Torino. The striker – who has scored seven goals in 12 Serie A games this season – will get higher wages and a release clause of €100m, which will apply only for foreign clubs, according to CalcioMercato.

- Inter want to make as many as three signings in January, according to Tuttosport. Second in the Serie A table, one of those additions is set to depend on how much Inter bring in from the sale of Gabriel Barbosa – the forward is on loan at Flamengo.

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.

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."

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.

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