Gareth Southgate open to dropping Wayne Rooney if Rooney lets him

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“As soon as I double-check with him that he doesn’t mind I won’t hesitate in removing him from the first eleven,” said Gareth Southgate on Wayne Rooney.

Saying that as a manager he remains open to all selection possibilities, Gareth Southgate today admitted that he’d be open to dropping Wayne Rooney if the England captain allowed him to do so.

Speaking after his first match as interim national team manager, Southgate was questioned over whether he would drop Rooney, whose disappointing performances have seen him become the target of fan anger in recent months.

Laughing off claims that the Manchester United and England captain is “untouchable”, the former Aston Villa captain insisted that he would not hesitate to leave Rooney out providing he granted him permission beforehand.

“I’m the coach and I have decisions to make for sure. The second Wayne gives me the green light I would certainly consider dropping him from the side,” said Southgate, adding that he and Rooney had already agreed that no one was immune from their collective judgement.

“Wayne is no different from any of the other squad players and as soon as I double-check with him that he doesn’t mind I won’t hesitate in removing him from the first eleven.”