Raheem Sterling out of England game after clash with Joe Gomez
Manchester City star Raheem Sterling has been dropped from England’s squad to face Montenegro after a clash with Liverpool’s Joe Gomez.
The pair are reported to have had a physical altercation in the canteen at St George’s Park.
Sterling and Gomez squared up to each other in the closing stages of City’s 3-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.
With the pair arriving for international duty less than 24 hours after the final whistle, tensions were still simmering between them when they were reunited. And it appears they boiled over as the squad dined together at their training base.
Sterling is rumoured to have taken exception to walking into the canteen to find Gomez and a group of players laughing.
The City forward said: “You think you’re the big man now.”
That prompted further laughter, with his team-mates believing he was joking, but Sterling allegedly then grabbed Gomez by the neck.
In a statement, England manager Gareth Southgate said: “We have taken the decision to not consider Raheem for the match against Montenegro on Thursday.
“One of the great challenges and strengths for us is that we’ve been able to separate club rivalries from the national team. Unfortunately, the emotions of yesterday’s game were still raw.
“My feeling is that the right thing for the team is the action we have taken. Now that the decision has been made with the agreement of the entire squad, it’s important that we support the players and focus on Thursday night.”
Sterling will stay in the England camp, but is not being considered for selection for the game against Montengro at Wembley on Thursday. It remains to be seen whether he will be back in Southgate’s plans for the subsequent trip to Kosovo, but it is understood that he will be considered for the second match.