Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Hodgson Stands by Rooney; England Boss Won't Drop Wayne If Club Sideline Him

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Hodgson Stands by Rooney; England Boss Won't Drop Wayne If Club Sideline Him

Article excerpt

Byline: James Olley Chief Football Correspondent

ROY HODGSON today claimed Wayne Rooney will still be central to England's plans for next month's crucial World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine even if he is not playing regularly for Manchester United.

Rooney is thought to want to join Chelsea, who have had two bids rejected by the champions and are believed to be planning a third.

The striker trained along with his England team-mates at St George's Park this morning as he continues to recover from a shoulder injury ahead of Wednesday's friendly against Scotland.

Rooney is expected to play some part at Wembley as Hodgson finalises his preparations for the qualifiers which begin on September 6, by which time the transfer window will have closed.

United remain adamant Rooney will not leave the club this summer, raising the prospect of the striker remaining at the club against his will but Hodgson insists that would not complicate his involvement for England.

Asked if he wanted Rooney's situation to be resolved before the qualifiers, Hodgson said: "It would be very nice if that happens both for him and his club and of course my hope and desire is that is what will happen. …

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