The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) have reportedly sought to secure the services of Leeds United central midfielder Kalvin Phillips.

The 24-year-old is fresh off playing a crucial role in the team’s successful bid to secure promotion to the English Premier League (EPL).  The Caribbean team are hoping to he can play a similar role in their bid to secure a return to the FIFA World Cup.  A feat they first accomplished in 1998.

Phillips is of Jamaican heritage and could quality to represent the county by virtue of the fact that his father is Jamaican.  The player has, however, also attracted the interest of his birth nation England, with his progress already being monitored by the team’s manager Gareth Southgate.

The Jamaican’s are currently in an eight-team final round World Cup qualification group, which will see three teams qualify directly to the tournament and another secure a play-off spot.  The JFF has already reportedly contacted Leeds asking for permission to sit down with Phillips and try to convince him to pick the Caribbean unit.  Phillips, who was born in Leeds, has never been selected to represent that Three Lions at any level and could have a tough time securing a spot in a talented England team.

England have announced a friendly against Wales at Wembley on October 8.

Gareth Southgate's side will take on their cross-border rivals behind closed doors in their first home game of 2020.

The last meeting between the two countries was in a group match at Euro 2016, when England secured a 2-1 victory courtesy of Daniel Sturridge's last-gasp goal.

After taking on Ryan Giggs' side, World Cup semi-finalists England face a Nations League double-header with home matches against Belgium and Denmark on October 11 and 14 respectively.

England will use the Wales fixture to stage a tribute to former internationals who have died in the past 12 months, including 1966 World Cup winners Jack Charlton, Martin Peters, Norman Hunter and Peter Bonetti.

 

Mason Greenwood took his Premier League tally to eight goals with a brace on Saturday and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has tipped the Manchester United youngster for a future England call-up. 

The 18-year-old produced clinical finishes in either half as United thrashed Bournemouth 5-2 to move into the Premier League's top four. 

Only Michael Owen, Wayne Rooney and Robbie Fowler have scored more Premier League goals in a season while aged 18 or younger and that trio all went on to feature for England on multiple occasions. 

Bradford-born Greenwood has represented his country at various youth levels, debuting for England Under-21s last September, and Solskjaer believes he is on track to make the step up to Gareth Southgate's senior side. 

Asked if he was "a future England striker", Norwegian Solskjaer told BBC Radio 5 live: "Definitely, if he keeps on developing. 

"We'll do our best to develop him. I'm just worried about him playing for Man United, not England. 

"There might be some Norwegian blood in there, I don't know! I don't think so." 

Solskjaer added of Greenwood: "[He's a] great talent, great finisher and he's learning more and more, growing more and more, [making] better and better decisions on and off the pitch. 

"He's an exceptional finisher, he can score right foot, left foot. If he can learn how to head a ball he'll be the complete striker." 

United are now unbeaten in 16 games in all competitions, a streak that dates back to a home loss to Burnley on January 22. 

This latest victory saw United displace Chelsea in fourth ahead of the Blues' game against Watford later on Saturday, yet Solskjaer insisted there is still a long way to go in the race for Champions League qualification. 

"I don't think anyone worries or cares about that now, we've got so many games left," he said. 

"Five games left - we know we have to focus on every single one of them at one time because you can only beat the team you're playing against. 

"The next one is [Aston] Villa, we'll have a good look at them tomorrow and recover and prepare for that one." 

Michael Mancienne believes more English players should follow the lead of Jadon Sancho in playing abroad to develop their game.

Borussia Dortmund winger Sancho has thrived since swapping Manchester City for regular first-team football in the Bundesliga.

After moving to Germany in 2017 and becoming an England international a year later, the 20-year-old has been heavily linked with a big-money move to the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea.

Former Chelsea youngster Mancienne, now playing with New England Revolution having spent three seasons of his club career with Hamburg, feels it is a path that should be taken by talented prospects.

Despite the strength of the Premier League, Mancienne says players like Sancho can improve in other top European leagues if regular game time is proving tough to come by at home.

"Obviously Jadon Sancho is a great player and it is good to see English talent playing abroad," he said to Stats Perform News.

"Foreigners come to England all the time and it obviously seems like a normal thing. 

"I know the Premier League is one of the best leagues in the world but to go and get that experience of playing abroad is massive and it can make you a better player. 

"It can definitely help your career, especially for a young player struggling to break into their first team. 

"If you get the chance to go abroad I think that's massive and it can further your career."

Asked if more English players should go to the Bundesliga, he added: "Yeah most definitely, I think it is massive."

Mancienne won 30 England caps at Under-21 level earlier in his career.

He has praised manager Gareth Southgate for his work with the senior side, which he believes has been boosted by blooding youngsters like Sancho, who has 11 caps.

"I think [Gareth Southgate] has done a brilliant job," said Mancienne. "He came in and he changed a lot.

"People weren't sure if it was the right thing to do but giving younger players a chance to have that experience is only going to make them a better team and a better squad. 

"You saw Germany years ago, their U21 team that I played against in the U21 Euros, that team went on and won the World Cup. They trusted that team and they kept them together.

"It doesn't matter how old you are, young players need that experience if they want to improve.

"Southgate has been brilliant in pushing, not changing the team and making it younger, more vibrant and full of energy."

England manager Gareth Southgate feels UEFA's approach to tackling racist incidents in stadia is unacceptable and he would not hesitate to lead his team off the pitch if required in future.

The subject of racism in society has been at the fore of global discussion since George Floyd died in Minneapolis on May 25. A police officer knelt on his neck for nine minutes, sparking protests across the United States and beyond.

England players were subjected to racist abuse during Euro 2020 qualifiers in Montenegro in March 2019 and in Bulgaria last October.

UEFA's three-step procedure for tackling such incidents was initiated during the game in Sofia, with the match twice stopped and announcements made over the stadium's public address system.

The last resort would have been to abandon the match, and Southgate said he would be ready to ensure that step was followed if he found England in a similar situation again.

"It's a strange situation when you're on the side of the pitch, because there are times where you're really attuned to the noise and there are other times where there are obviously chants going on that you can't quite distinguish," Southgate told Sky Sports.

"And in Bulgaria there were moments where it was really clear, when Tyrone Mings had the ball, and I think we were waiting anyway for the situation. In Montenegro that wasn't so clear. We felt a bit underprepared in Montenegro, we didn't even know anything about the UEFA protocols at that time, so we took it upon ourselves over the next period to really prepare ourselves for that night in Bulgaria as a group of players and as a staff.

"We had a long discussion with the players days before the game regarding how they saw it, what they wanted the approach to be, that they were clear we were there to support, that we had the backing of the FA regarding whatever we thought was necessary, but there's also a requirement to follow the regulations as well. We're in a competition, we've got to follow some of those guidelines.

"So we were in a position we wanted and we did the right thing, not just to do something to be seen to be trying to be the heroes and make a stance if it wasn't necessary, but as the evening was going on there were moments in the first half where we didn't think we'd get through the game.

"We had a long discussion at half-time, bearing in mind it really dominated the thinking - thankfully we were well ahead in the game we didn't have to think about the match by that point - and the players were very clear had there been another incident in that second half we were prepared to walk.

"I've heard people say there was abuse in the second half. None of the players were conscious of that, we weren't conscious of that, a big section of the ground were evicted at half-time, so we didn't feel on the night that the next step was appropriate.

"We wouldn't hesitate to go to the next step if we were in that situation again, and I agree, I don't think the protocol of allowing people almost two free hits is really acceptable.

"I agree we've always got to get further and frankly when we're at the point where we're having to take action on the pitch it's gone too far anyway. The situation's got to be addressed before we even get into the stadiums, in society."

Southgate said he had not spoken to any of the Three Lions' black and minority ethnic players about Floyd's death because he knew where they stood on the matter, adding: "It's occupied a lot of my thinking over the past week."

After Raheem Sterling spoke of the need for greater black representation at the top level in the Premier League and FA, and Kick It Out's Troy Townsend criticised the lack of diversity in coaching positions, Southgate said the time has come for significant and sweeping changes.

"I think that's clear across every level of the game and every level of society," he said.

"People have spoken brilliantly this week, [Sport England board member] Chris Grant is somebody who I've met a number of times, has lectured me on a couple of courses and went on about the institutional racism he feels exists in sporting bodies and sporting governance. I think all of those areas are where we've got to focus our attention.

"This feeling that Troy spoke about that people feel there aren't the opportunities there so young black people will refrain from taking qualifications or getting themselves prepared because they feel there is a ceiling to what's possible.

"We need their voices in those decision-making areas and we need to show people the opportunities do exist and that's got to be at every level of the game."

Massimo Maccarone regrets turning down Giovanni Trapattoni to stay working with Gareth Southgate, describing the now England manager as "big talks, no facts".

Former Italy striker Maccarone spent four years as a team-mate of Southgate's at Middlesbrough, before playing his final six months at the Riverside Stadium under the tutelage of his former captain.

Maccarone had found himself out of favour under former boss Steve McLaren but was convinced to stay when Southgate took over ahead of the 2006-07 season.

But Maccarone made just one Premier League start and seven top-flight appearances in total before leaving for Siena in the January transfer window.

Southgate, who oversaw Boro's relegation in the 2008-09 campaign, has earned plenty of praise for his work with England, who he led to the World Cup semi-finals in Russia in 2018.

However, Maccarone was disappointed with his own personal treatment.

"I played the last seasons of his career with him and as a player he has always been correct, kind, humble," he told Stats Perform. 

"As a manager, though, I didn't like very much what he did to me. Besides I had already had some quarrels with his predecessor, Steve McLaren, another one who has managed England, when I reacted berating him a lot and then in hindsight I understood I had made some mistakes myself too. 

"But not with Southgate who talked me a lot into staying at Middlesborough, promising I would have played a lot since he knew well what had happened to me the season before. 

"But then, nothing even if we made seven points in the first six games. Big talks, no facts."

If things had played out differently, Maccarone could have been playing for Salzburg under Trappatoni, the man who had given him his Italy debut.

"When I was in England he was managing Salzburg in Austria," he added. 

"He had called me for one month to convince me to join him there but I still had a one year contract with Middlesborough and I wanted to prove myself there after a negative season despite some sparks in the UEFA Cup. 

"So I stayed with Southgate at Middlesborough when Trapattoni had made my dream of playing for Italy come true."

Asked if that is a decision he now regrets, Maccarone replied: "In hindsight yes. 

"But Southgate had been my team-mate and captain for four years. He kept telling me, 'I can't understand why [McLaren] doesn't let you play' but then when he became the manager he truncated my career at Boro.

"I said no to Trapattoni for Southgate but I should have done the opposite."

Gareth Southgate called medical staff fighting the coronavirus pandemic "heroes" as the England boss spoke about the pride he expects to feel when the postponed European Championship finally takes place.

Earlier this week it was confirmed by UEFA that Euro 2020, which had been scheduled to begin on June 12, had been pushed back a year due to the spread of COVID-19 and its chaotic impact on the sporting calendar.

It is hoped the suspension will ensure domestic seasons and continental cup competitions can resume and be completed in the window when the Euros were due to happen.

Southgate, whose team have seen friendlies against Italy and Denmark this month cancelled, has written a letter to England fans telling them not to "spend another moment thinking about the postponement" while paying tribute to those working to combat coronavirus.

"For everyone in our country, the primary focus of the present - and the coming months - is undoubtedly to look after our families, support our communities and work together to come through what it clearly the most extreme test that we've faced collectively in decades," Southgate said.

"On behalf of all the teams and staff, I would like to take this opportunity to send our sympathies to those who have lost loved ones already. Our thoughts are with you and with those who sadly will suffer similarly in the coming period."

He added: "We were due to play next week and to represent you all this summer, but now is clearly not the moment for us to take centre-stage.

"The heroes will be the men and women who continue working tirelessly in our hospitals and medical centres to look after our friends and families. They won't receive the individual acclaim, but we all know their importance is beyond anything we do on the pitch.

"When we play again as an England team, it will be a time when not only our country but the rest of the world as well is on the road to recovery. Hopefully we will be closer to each other than ever, and ready for the beautiful distraction that football can bring.

"To play in a European Championship next summer will still be possible for all of our squad and so we shouldn't spend another moment thinking about the postponement of the competition.

"I feel sure that, when that moment comes, I will never have been prouder to be the leader."

Jose Mourinho believes Harry Kane will not return to action for Tottenham until at least May, in a blow for both club and country.

Spurs striker Kane sustained a hamstring injury on New Year's Day in a defeat to Southampton and has been out of action since, having undergone surgery.

Initially, it was expected Kane would be out until April and the 26-year-old has already begun his rehabilitation process.

However, Mourinho has cast doubt on that prognosis, revealing he does not expect England captain Kane to be able to play again until at least May 9-10, with Spurs scheduled to face Leicester City in their penultimate match of the season, with Crystal Palace their final league opponents on May 17.

"The Leicester match," said Mourinho, whose side face Southampton in an FA Cup replay on Wednesday, when he was asked about Kane's return.

"Maybe we need that match for something. To be fourth, to be fifth, to be sixth. Maybe he can help us in this match. I hope. Is that the best-case scenario at the moment? Yes, I think so."

If Mourinho's prediction proves correct, it means Kane will only be able to play in two league fixtures prior to joining up with Gareth Southgate's England squad for Euro 2020.

England are in action in two warm-up fixtures in early June - against Austria and Romania respectively - before facing Croatia in their opening Euro 2020 fixture on June 14.

The national team's issues are of little concern to Mourinho, however.

"It's a problem for [Gareth] Southgate and for [the England assistant manager] Steve Holland, not for me," he added. "How would I feel if I were England manager? I don't know. I'm not."

Harry Kane may have suffered an untimely injury, but England boss Gareth Southgate could well be blessed with a wealth of attacking options heading into Euro 2020.

Kane's hamstring injury should not see him miss the European Championship, but it has handed plenty of England hopefuls the chance to prove their worth.

And it seems as though this season, the Premier League belongs to homegrown forwards.

Jamie Vardy – who has retired from international duty – leads the way with 17 goals, ahead of three players sharing second place in the scoring charts with 14: Danny Ings, Marcus Rashford and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Arsenal striker Aubameyang is one of only four non-English players to take their place in the Premier League's list of leading scorers as things stand, along with Sergio Aguero, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.

Raheem Sterling, Tammy Abraham and Kane complete the top 10 and, using Opta data, we assess whether the 2019-20 Premier League campaign is an anomaly or the start of something new.

SIX OF THE BEST

Vardy's incredible form has been key to propelling Leicester City up the league, with Brendan Rodgers' side currently sitting third. 

The 33-year-old has 17 league goals to his name this season, though it is another Englishman who has been making the headlines recently – one who downed the Foxes last time out. 

Southampton's Ings has scored 10 goals in his past 11 top-flight appearances and is already the highest-scoring Southampton player in a single season since Jay Rodriguez in 2013-14. 

Level with Ings is Manchester United's Rashford, who seems to have finally taken up the mantle as the Red Devils' talisman and has scored 19 times across all competitions, one less than England team-mate Sterling, who has 11 league goals. 

Chelsea's transfer ban in the off season handed Abraham the chance to shine, and shine he has, scoring 13 times in the top flight, two more than England captain Kane. 

It should also be noted the six leading English scorers all represent different clubs, showing that homegrown talent is shared across the league. 

THE NEXT GENERATION

Of the English players leading the way this season, two – Rashford and Abraham – are 22, while City sensation Sterling is only just 25.  

Indeed, only Vardy, of the English forwards in the top 10, is above the age of 30. 

After overcoming a glut of injury issues, Ings is finally hitting his stride once more, with Southampton the benefactors.  

But, with the 27-year-old averaging a goal every 109.8 minutes in the league – a figure bettered only by Vardy among the other English players – Ings must be in serious contention for a place in Southgate's squad for the upcoming friendlies against Italy and Denmark. 

There is also plenty of potential for the future outside of the players in the top 10. After Sterling and Kane, Dominic Calvert-Lewin is the highest-scoring English player and the 22-year-old seems to be coming into his own for Everton. 

He has scored eight league goals and 10 in total across all competitions, while United's Mason Greenwood is the highest-scoring teenager in the competition. 

Away from the Premier League, Borussia Dortmund forward Jadon Sancho has been lighting up the Bundesliga since his move from City in 2017.

HISTORY SAYS...

Only twice in the past nine Premier League seasons has an English forward won the Golden Boot, with Tottenham star Kane doing so in both 2015-16 and 2016-17.

Last season, the award was shared between Mane, Salah and Aubameyang, though each only managed 22 goals – the lowest amount since Carlos Teves finished top of the charts with 20 in 2010-11.

Since the start of the previous decade there has been a steady increase in the number of English players finishing in double figures for the season, with five last term being the most. But with six players inside the top 10 – and Calvert-Lewin not far away – this season, 2019-20 is proving the best season for homegrown strikers in that timeframe.

With Euro 2020 on the horizon, it appears this could well be the season that kick-starts a new wave of English talent starring in the big time.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer tempered the excitement surrounding Manchester United talent Mason Greenwood, adamant it is too early to be thinking of potential England involvement at Euro 2020.

United academy product Greenwood has enjoyed a breakout season, making 17 Premier League appearances – all but two of them from the bench – after being introduced to the first-team fold by Solskjaer last term.

The 18-year-old has four goals in the league this season, plus another five across the EFL Cup and Europa League, in which only four players have scored more.

With Harry Kane a doubt for the Euros after suffering a torn hamstring that required surgery and Jamie Vardy unavailable for selection following his international retirement, Greenwood has emerged as an option for England manager Gareth Southgate.

Greenwood made four appearances for the England Under-21s last year and for the time being Solskjaer thinks he should be allowed to focus on United and Young Lions duty.

"I think Mason will have a top and long career," Solskjaer said ahead of Wednesday's FA Cup third-round replay with Wolves.

"Let the boy settle in now first, before we talk about England and the Euros.

"His focus has to be on playing more for us and improving, and when he plays more for us, that [and England call-up] will happen by itself.

"He's just been picked for the England Under-21s, so he's focusing on his football."

Greenwood is just one of three forward thriving at United this season, with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial also enjoying strong campaigns.

Rashford already has 19 goals from 30 matches across all competitions, while Martial has 11 in 22 outings – but Solskjaer does not think he deserves a pat on the back for their respective improvements.

"I don't want credit for getting more out of them," he said. "They're working hard to improve their game, I think they've all done well.

"Of course, Mason is in his first season, so to have nine goals is fantastic. Marcus is really growing and improving all the time, and Anthony has missed about six-to-eight weeks.

"I'm impressed by them. They're working well, working on their finishing patterns, we want consistency and I think we'll see more and more of them as they're still very young."

Harry Kane is not expected to return to training until April in a huge blow to both Tottenham and England.

The Spurs striker suffered a ruptured tendon in his left hamstring in the Premier League defeat to Southampton this month, and the club confirmed on Thursday he would undergo surgery.

The latest estimate for Kane's lay-off should concern Tottenham fans, with the team sixth and six points off a Champions League place, while England manager Gareth Southgate will also be worried as Euro 2020 approaches.

So, will Spurs stick or twist in the transfer market? And does Southgate have an alternative to his talismanic captain?

SON TO THE FORE AT SPURS?

Jose Mourinho had insisted prior to this injury he had little interest in January business. While that must surely change with this news, Tottenham have rarely been willing to spend big in recent seasons.

Might their new head coach instead tinker with his existing options, then? Son Heung-min would appear the obvious candidate to take on Kane's striking role.

The winger started up front at Middlesbrough in the FA Cup on Sunday and deputised well for Kane for a stretch last season, prompting suggestions the South Korea star might play better without his most lethal attacking team-mate.

Lucas Moura, who also led the line in Kane's absence last season, and Dele Alli are options to join Son in attack, while Troy Parrott – 17 years old with just two senior appearances to his name – would hope to be handed a more prominent role.

 

PIPPING RIVALS TO PIATEK?

Spurs finally looked to have suitable cover for Kane in the form of Fernando Llorente last season, only for the veteran to depart for Napoli on a free at the end of the campaign.

Now, Tottenham are not the only English side searching for goals in the mid-season transfer window, with Newcastle United, Aston Villa and Crystal Palace all short in that department, but Mourinho's men should have the profile to blow those rivals out of the water.

One man linked with Spurs, Newcastle and Villa in recent days is Krzysztof Piatek, the Milan striker now at risk of slipping to the fringes of the Rossoneri first team following Zlatan Ibrahimovic's return to San Siro.

Piatek was one of Europe's form strikers last season and, while his goals tally is far more modest this term – he only has four in 18 appearances in Serie A – Tottenham may have little choice but to take a risk. Milan reportedly want £30million rather than a loan.

 

ENGLAND U-TURN FOR VARDY?

Kane was the leading scorer in Euros qualifying with 12 goals and had been set to star for England in a finals tournament that will feature seven matches, including the semi-finals and final, on home soil at Wembley.

But perhaps Southgate is better equipped than Mourinho to deal with the absence of his key striker, with four of the Premier League's top five marksmen this term eligible for England.

Leading the way with 17 goals is Jamie Vardy, who has not featured for his country since the 2018 World Cup, citing in part his reduced role behind Kane in the pecking order as he stepped away from international football.

Yet with Kane facing a race against time to be fit for the finals, Vardy might now find himself a prominent figure if he could be tempted back into the squad.

 

FIVE YEARS ON, ANOTHER INGS CAP?

England are not short of options, as the Golden Boot race suggests, with Tammy Abraham in top form and both Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling capable of playing through the middle.

But Danny Ings will surely see this as his opportunity to add to his sole Three Lions cap earned in 2015 – he replaced Kane from the bench on that occasion – before awful injury troubles at Liverpool.

The Southampton striker, who scored the only goal in the game Kane suffered his injury, is enjoying the best season of his top-flight career, scoring 13 times already.

Southgate surely must at least assess Ings as an option in the March internationals, while Callum Wilson will hope to return to form for Bournemouth in order to stake his own case. Everton's Dominic Calvert-Lewin may also be in with a chance.

Gareth Southgate would be "disappointed" if he was not linked to Premier League vacancies but the England boss still has objectives he wants to achieve with the Three Lions.

England reached a first World Cup semi-final since Italia '90 at last year's tournament in Russia, while they also made the last four of the inaugural Nations League.

Southgate then oversaw England's qualification for Euro 2020 and his side are among the favourites for European Championship glory.

In a question and answer session with Sky Sports, Southgate – who was in the past linked with the Manchester United job - was asked if a return to Premier League management is of interest.

For now, though, Southgate's immediate focus remains on the Three Lions.

"I am completely fulfilled in the role, it's a privilege to be the manager of England. Sometimes in life we are always looking at what's coming next and not relishing how fortunate we are to be in the position that we are in," he said.

"I feel like our team can still get better, there are objectives that we still want to achieve. In the future? I know realistically that I'm not going to be England manager in 10 years' time - I hope to be in six months' time. 

"Somewhere in between that, there is going to be something else. I'd be disappointed if I wasn't linked with some of those jobs if I'm honest. 

"I don't worry about it because my phone has not been ringing. I think that is because people know that I am committed to the job that I am in."

Being national team manager throws up plenty of challenges and Southgate had to deal with an internal bust-up between Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez during the last international break, with the duo having clashed in Manchester City's defeat to Liverpool prior to the squad meeting up.

Southgate opted to drop Sterling for the clash against Montenegro before restoring the City forward for their final Euro 2020 qualifier with Kosovo.

The decision to publicly confirm Sterling was dropped drew criticism in some quarters but Southgate feels the squad is more united for having dealt with the incident as a group.

"I think there are situations as a leader, where whatever decision you make will be criticised. There are some situations where there isn't a perfect solution and you all have to just work things out as a group," he added.

"Time needs to pass. I have to make a decision that is right for the team first and foremost, and also support both of the players. There are so many people involved in a situation like that - everybody is going to have an opinion. Those that have managed or coached before understand the complexities of any situation like that.

"The most important thing is the team and the performance of the team. We were able to focus internally on the football very quickly and we got the results we needed and both boys got back on the pitch.

"They definitely came closer together and Raheem's message when Joe got an adverse reaction at Wembley was a really powerful one. I think that bought some closure on the episode.

"We are dealing with young men who are going to be emotional at times. Part of the strength of some of our players is that edge that they have. Through that adversity we are stronger for it."

Gareth Southgate says the way England "took apart" the lower-ranked sides in their Euro 2020 qualifying group should give Three Lions fans plenty of optimism for next year's tournament.

England coasted to top spot in Group A, their only blip a surprise 2-1 loss away to the Czech Republic, scoring an impressive 37 goals in eight games along the way.

Having reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in Russia last year, England are among the more fancied sides for European Championship glory.

Croatia, who defeated the Three Lions at the World Cup, and Czech Republic will be in England's group at the Euros with one spot yet to be filled, and Southgate is confident his side will compete with the favourites.

"We expected to win our [qualification] group but the way that we played and the way we took apart those lower-ranked teams, I don't think we could have done any more than we did." he told Sky Sports.

 There is a lot for people to get excited about, our internal expectations are high. 

"Of course we want the fans to be excited, I don't want to take away that hope and excitement."

England will face Italy in the first of four warm-up matches for Euro 2020, with Gareth Southgate's side set to host the Azzurri on March 27.

The Three Lions secured qualification for next year's finals in style with a 7-0 thrashing of Montenegro in November, before rounding off their campaign by defeating Kosovo 4-0.

Southgate's side will face Croatia, victors in the 2018 World Cup semi-final meeting between the teams, and the Czech Republic - who inflicted England's only defeat of the qualification campaign - in Group D, with Scotland, Israel, Norway or Serbia set to complete the pool.

Four-time world champions Italy have won 11 straight games under Roberto Mancini, their longest run of consecutive victories, and will play Turkey, Switzerland and Wales in Group A, with all of the Azzurri's group matches to be played in Rome.

England have also lined up friendlies against Denmark on March 31, Austria on June 2 and Romania five days later, with their Euros campaign set to kick-off at Wembley on June 14.

Chelsea are seemingly eager to sign Jadon Sancho, but they may have to wait until the end of the season.

The Borussia Dortmund star, 19, has been heavily linked with a move away from the Bundesliga club, with numerous Premier League sides reportedly interested.

And Chelsea could be ready to spend big to land the England international.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA READY TO BREAK TRANSFER RECORD FOR SANCHO

Chelsea are prepared to break their transfer record to land Sancho, according to Goal.com.

Sancho has been linked to the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City after impressing at Dortmund.

Chelsea broke their own transfer record last year, when they paid Athletic Bilbao a reported £71.6million (€80m) for goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

The Premier League club are appealing their transfer ban, at this stage unable to buy players in January.

That may not be such a problem when it comes to Sancho, though, with Sport Bild reporting the attacker may not want a January move.

ROUND-UP

Edinson Cavani is struggling for game time at Paris Saint-Germain and the 32-year-old forward could be set for a move. AS reports the Uruguay international likes the idea of a switch to Atletico Madrid.

- Staying at the Wanda Metropolitano and Athletico Paranaense midfielder Bruno Guimaraes, 22, will join Atletico in a €30m transfer next year, according to Marca.

- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appears safe for now at Manchester United, but The Sun reports the Premier League club could turn to England manager Gareth Southgate if they decide to make a change at the end of the season.

- Carlo Ancelotti remains under pressure at Napoli. La Gazzetta dello Sport reports Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis will wait until the Champions League clash against Genk on December 10 before considering a change. Napoli are winless in eight matches and sit seventh in Serie A.

- Metz and France youth international defender Lenny Lacroix, 16, is attracting interest from Barcelona and Juventus, according to Mundo Deportivo.

- With Everton in the Premier League relegation zone after their Merseyside derby loss to Liverpool, Marco Silva could be sacked. The Sun reports Silva said goodbye to his Everton players after the loss at Anfield.

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