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Mason Greenwood sent clear message about Euro chances by England boss Gareth Southgate | Football | Sport

Greenwood was once considered one of England’s brightest young prospects. The 22-year-old is rebuilding his career in Spain after criminal charges – all of which he denied – were dropped against him in February last year following the withdrawal of a key witness.

Southgate sent Greenwood home from a European Championship qualifier against Iceland in 2020, a game in which he had made his first and only appearance for the Three Lions. The United academy graduate was named in a provisional squad for Euro 2020 but injury kept him out of the tournament.

The England manager believes that Greenwood’s inclusion in the squad for Euro 2024 would be a “big distraction”. The forward has scored eight goals for Getafe this season, which will not be enough to merit a recall.

“Well for me I don’t think it’s something for pre-Euros. I think allowing him to get his career going again abroad appears to have been a good move but I have to say I have not tracked it closely,” Southgate said when asked if Greenwood stood a chance of being included in his Euro 2024 squad.

“I think at this moment in time it would be a big distraction for the team and let’s see where that leads next season.”

Greenwood’s return to the England set-up would be subject to Southgate conducting a thorough investigation into the player’s conduct, with the 53-year-old adding: “I would need to know more details about the whole thing before it was an option.”

Greenwood faces an uncertain future at United with new minority shareholder Sir Jim Ratcliffe not ruling out reintegration into the first-team. The Red Devils had previously insisted that it would be unlikely that he would play for them again.

Meanwhile, Southgate hopes Chelsea defender Reece James will have a run of games to prove his fitness before England fly out to Germany. James has endured a campaign interrupted by a succession of hamstring injuries and missed the 2022 World Cup due to a similar problem.

“I don’t think we have an exact date for him coming back but we would hope he’ll have some games before the Euros,” Southgate said of the right-back.

“I’ve said Luke Shaw might be fit but not match-fit and it’s a very similar scenario. Could he play seven games in the Euros? His record over the last few years would suggest no. But is he a top level player who could provide something important? No question.”

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