Gareth Southgate has admitted he cannot stop transfer talk around his players – not least because it would make him a “bloody hypocrite.”
Southgate recalled his own story of putting in a transfer request on the eve of Euro 2000 while he was at Aston Villa as the likes of Harry Kane and Jadon Sancho being lined up for big money moves this summer.
England boss Southgate insists he does not believe it would cause a distraction in the Euros and says his players will be fully focused on the Euros.
Southgate said: “I’d be a bloody hypocrite because I put a transfer request in on the eve of Euro 2000! I know I’m a hypocrite in a lot of areas, but I’ve got to make sure I don’t get pulled on that!
“But the fact was that I was just as determined to play well, it wasn’t a distraction for me. Talks will go on in the background and I don’t imagine any clubs or players would want be wanting agents in during that period.
“If you speak to players, they want those things to be going on in the background, they wouldn’t want to have to deal with it during a tournament and I think it would be unlikely they get it boxed off before but most deals are done post-tournaments like that.
“I’m practical about those things, I know there’s a reality, the players are mature enough to deal with that. We will have our group in, we’ll know the group that are with us, and they’ll be fully focused on England, I know.
“I think it’s harder when you’re at a club, back into a pre-season and you’ve got players that are in a situation where ‘are they leaving, or aren’t they leaving?’ I think that’s far more complicated for everybody because nobody’s really sure of what they are going to be working with.”