The European Championship finals are about to kick off but with the Premier League transfer market in full swing, there is a fear that players might not have their eye wholly on the ball.
Such is the concern of England boss Roy Hodgson as high-profile transfer bids for the likes of Leicester City star striker Jamie Vardy dominate both media headlines and social media feeds.
With the squad now firmly entrenched in their base at Chantilly, Hodgson admits (via Arseblog News) that while he is not seeking to block the transfer process, he wishes his 23-man squad to focus on the Euro 2016 campaign ahead and nothing else.
As the squad arrived in France over the weekend, Arsenal’s much-publicised bid for Vardy was a red hot topic. However, amid reports of a counter offer to the player by the Premier League champions, the current state of any possible deal with either club remains unclear.
For the Gunners to complete a deal for the in-demand striker in the immediate future, they would likely be required to seek permission from Hodgson in order to put Vardy through a medical – something the England manager appears to be in no mood to allow.
“We are not trying to block players’ futures or transfers but, as far as we are concerned, our ongoing theme is that England is England, your club is your club.
While you are with England, we want you to stay focused on us.”
Not only is Hodgson’s position clear, it is also quite reasonable. As a footballing nation, England are expected to make a serious run at the title and anything less than a semi-final appearance would probably be regarded as failure among supporters.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 6, 2016
For England’s top players to be less than fully focused is not an option as a result, so the comments by Hodgson are hardly surprising and will come as a relief to Leicester City fans who are desperate to see Vardy remain on with the Champions as they embark on the new adventure that is the Champions League football.
As for Arsenal fans, they will likely be cursing under their breath that Arsene Wenger couldn’t complete the deal before the England squad departed for the Euros over the weekend.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena