Jamie Vardy is set to call time on his international career after informing England manager Gareth Southgate he wants to focus on club football.
The 31-year-old Leicester striker has been a regular for England since Southgate was appointed in November 2016 and although he has not “shut the door completely”, he is unlikely to return.
Vardy last played for England when Southgate’s side lost to Croatia in the World Cup semi-final in July.
“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 initially shared his thoughts with Southgate at the start of the Premier League season and was given time to mull over his decision, according to Sky Sources.
However, the period of reflection hasn’t altered his view, and it appears his England career will end with 26 appearances and seven goals.
Much like James Milner, Vardy has told Southgate he would be prepared to return in exceptional circumstances, such as an injury crisis or an exceptional run of form.
Southgate had planned to include Vardy in his squad for England’s Nations League opener against Spain in September, but will now use the opportunity to give other fringe players a chance.