Jamie Vardy and Gary Cahill have told England manager Gareth Southgate they each do not wish to be selected unless there is an injury crisis.
Both players were part of Gareth Southgate’s squad for the World Cup, where England suffered a semi-final loss at the hands of Croatia.
The 32-year-old Vardy has won 26 caps for his country but does not look like adding to that tally after telling the Guardian of his decision.
“To be honest with you, this has been on my mind for a while,” the Leicester man told the newspaper.
“I’m not getting any younger and you can see, to be fair to the gaffer, he wants to make it more youthful, which obviously had its benefits during the World Cup – we got to the semi-finals and finished fourth, which is equal to the furthest we have ever been on foreign soil.
“So I just said to Gareth that I think it’s probably best from now on, especially with the way he wants to go, to bring youngsters in who he thinks have got the ability and start nurturing them into international football.”
Vardy added that while he is not making himself available for when Southgate names his first post-World Cup squad on Thursday, “we’ve not shut the door completely”, saying he would come back if “everyone was injured”.
Meanwhile Cahill, who was the most capped member of Gareth Southgate’s squad in Russia this summer, wants to take a ‘step back’ from the national side to focus on his Chelsea career.
“It’s time to take a step back,” he told Chelsea TV. “I feel it’s the right moment to do that. If I’m ever needed in the future then obviously I’m there.
“I have been hugely proud in terms of what I have achieved, in terms of over 60 caps and I have captained my country on a few occasions which has been a huge honour and something I have been really proud of in my career.
“Such is my relationship to the manager, he was fantastic and at the end of the tournament I had a good chat with him and he could see where I was coming from, he understood the situation and the same time we didn’t want to shut the door.
“I have been hugely honoured to have played for my country and I would never shut the door. I am hugely grateful to the managers for the caps that I have had.”
Cahill saw Harry Maguire selected ahead of him in central defence in Russia with his final Three Lions appearance coming against Belgium in the third-place play-off.
The 32-year-old defender has played more than 250 matches for Chelsea but he’s struggled to force his way into Maurizio Sarri’s first team so far this season.
- additional reporting, Press Association