Harry Maguire is understood to be confident that he’ll prove his fitness to Gareth Southgate before the England manager selects his World Cup squad.
Maguire picked up a thigh injury in his country’s Nations League match against Germany and hasn’t played since – the latest blow in what has been a tricky campaign for the Manchester United centre-back.
There are just three United matches left before Southgate names his World Cup selection, and he may have doubts about including Maguire in it if the defender hasn’t proved he’s fit again by then.
However, ESPN state that the defender is confident he’ll be able to recover and get some minutes under his belt in time to do so.
The belief is that Maguire’s injury is only “minor” and that his recovery is going according to plan.
Even if he is fit again, whether he’ll be given a start by Erik ten Hag is very much uncertain given he has fallen behind Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane in the pecking order since the Dutchman took over in the summer.
Nevertheless, Southgate has previously stated that he has no plans to drop Maguire if he’s fit, regardless of how much he’s playing for Man Utd.
The 29-year-old has been a key player for the Three Lions throughout Southgate’s reign, playing as big a part as anyone in their runs to the World Cup semi-finals in 2018 and the Euro 2020 final, and will remain one as long as he’s in good shape.
His return has been made all the more important by the fact that Kyle Walker looks set to miss the tournament in Qatar after undergoing groin surgery.
Marcus Rashford pays tribute to late friend with goal celebration
Marcus Rashford has revealed that his celebration following his first goal against Wales was a tribute to a friend who’d recently passed away.
The Man Utd man was in electric form for the Three Lions on Tuesday evening, scoring a brace and catapulting himself to the top of the tournament goalscoring charts in the process. In scoring his second and third goal in Qatar, Rahsford became the first Man Utd player to score three goals at a World Cup for England since Sir Bobby Charlton achieved the feat way back in 1966.
Speaking after the game to the press, Rashford revealed that he pointed to the sky following his first goal in order to pay tribute to his friend who passed away following a long battle with cancer:
“I lost one of my friends a couple of days ago. He had quite a long battle with cancer. I’m pleased I scored for him, he was a big supporter and good friend of mine. He was someone who came into my life.”
Rashford also gave an assessment of the game itself and his overall performance stating: “I fancied a free-kick in the first half, but the one in the second half was in a better position. From there it’s about being calm and executing what you do in training. They don’t go in often but I was glad it did today.
“It’s a great feeling. We were a bit disappointed after the USA game, and the only way to bounce back is to have a good performance in your next game; I thought we did it. It was just about taking the chances when they came.”
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Tottenham ask Inter about availability of key player
Tottenham Hotspur have made enquiries to Inter over right wing-back Denzel Dumfries, 90min understands.
Spurs are on the hunt for reinforcements at wing-back, with 90min previously reporting that one of Emerson Royal and Matt Doherty could be sold in January, while a loan move for Djed Spence looks likely.
On their list of targets is Dumfries, who is currently at the World Cup with the Netherlands. Inter need to sell one star player by the end of the season to help ease their financial woes.
It was previously thought that Milan Skriniar would be the man to make way, but he will either sign a new contract or leave for free when his current deal expires at the end of the season.
Instead, Inter will look to sell Dumfries in January and loan him back for the rest of the season, though Spurs would push to take him off their hands straight away.
Scott Saunders hosts Graeme Bailey in the latest episode of Talking Transfers, discussing Cristiano Ronaldo’s interview and his future, Man Utd’s interest in Cody Gakpo, plus the latest on Endrick and Rafael Leao. Available on all audio platforms.
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In addition to Tottenham, Chelsea are also interested in the Dutchman, and this could drive Dumfries’ price up.
Dumfries signed for Inter in 2021 as a replacement for the outgoing Achraf Hakimi, whose sale partly contributed to the exit of current Spurs head coach Antonio Conte.
He scored five goals from wing-back in his debut season at San Siro and has found the net twice more this term.
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