Sunday 21 January 2018

Ashley Cole rejects England standby list to end international career

John Percy

Ashley Cole is facing the end of his England career after being told he will not be considered for the World Cup squad.

It is understood that Cole spoke to England boss Roy Hodgson last night and was informed he would not be in contention for the 23-man squad for Brazil to be named today.

Cole (33) is believed to have been asked if he would consider being named on the standby list but declined the offer and is now likely to retire from international football.

The Chelsea defender's exclusion from Hodgson's squad is the latest blow in a difficult season in which he has been marginalised by his club manager Jose Mourinho.

It now seems certain that in Cole's absence Southampton's Luke Shaw will be on the plane.

Shaw is the subject of a £27m bid from Manchester United, with the offer made shortly after the 1-1 draw at St Mary's.

United are understood to be confident of landing the 18-year-old and have made their first move in a bid to jump ahead of rivals Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Liverpool.

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