Raheem Sterling will continue to be an influential figure for England despite the fallout from his spat with international team-mate Joe Gomez, says Three Lions left-back Ben Chilwell.

Sterling has been dropped for Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro after an altercation with Gomez at England's St George's Park training base on Monday.

Manchester City forward Sterling and Liverpool defender Gomez clashed on the field during the Reds' 3-1 win over the reigning Premier League champions at Anfield on Sunday and the 24-year-old conceded his "emotions got the better of me" in a social media post relating to the incident.

Gomez and Sterling both trained with England on Tuesday, the latter remaining with Southgate's squad for Sunday's trip to Kosovo.

Leicester defender Chilwell spoke at a news conference after the session and alluded to Sterling's growing stature as an influential figure on and off the field for club and country of late.

"It's very easy to forget how much Raheem's done positively for English football over the past year or two," he said.

"Yeah, he's made a mistake but he's still a very big character in the dressing room and a very important character for us in the dressing room."

Chilwell revealed Sterling and Gomez both spoke at a team meeting on Monday and insisted the squad were behind Southgate's decision.

"Gareth obviously spoke about the situation and spoke about what he thought. He also wanted to know what we thought of it as well," he said.

"Joe and Raheem got the chance to talk as well, which they both wanted to do.

"Raheem was apologetic. He said it's not in his nature - which it's not - but we all know as football players that emotions can run high.

"There's no one trying to make excuses for him, including himself, but two days ago was a very emotional game. Two great sides battling it out. Things are going to get heated. They've both moved on and both squashed it.

"Gareth didn't want to make the decision himself. He wanted to come to the right decision with the leadership group.

"Obviously it got spoken about between the leadership group and Gareth, and the decision has been made and we're all very on board with that."

This flashpoint comes on the back of the far more serious matter of England players, including Sterling, being subjected to racist abuse during last month's 6-0 win in Bulgaria.

Chilwell believes Southgate's squad will be able to draw strength from such moments of adversity.

"I think it does help us a lot," he added. It's very easy to look at it in a negative light - with the Bulgaria game and what's gone on over the last few days.

"But with how close we are as a squad, I think it's very easy to spin it into a positive.

"It's going to make us stronger hopefully going into [Euro 2020] if we can win these next few games."

Gareth Southgate is concerned by the information being leaked to the media from the England camp in the wake of the incident involving Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez.

Manager Southgate dropped Sterling from the squad for Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifying match with Montenegro after a bust-up between the Manchester City star and Liverpool defender Gomez.

Sterling insisted afterwards that the confrontation, which took place in a private team area of St George's Park, was quickly forgotten about and both players were seen training on Tuesday.

Details of the clash initially appeared in the media shortly before England released an official statement, while specifics about the nature of the confrontation have since continued to emerge.

Southgate suggested he would prefer such information did not find its way out of closed camps and into the public.

"There seems to be all sort of information being passed from so many different areas," he told reporters.

"This is a consequence of the England football team at the moment. That is a very difficult situation and something we have to think about getting forward.

"The team getting out, information getting out – there seems to be so many voices in the background. That's something I have to accept and deal with. Every player has had an opportunity to speak to me if they want to and my view was the group is ready to move forward."

During the World Cup, an apparent England team sheet was leaked ahead of the group game against Panama, after assistant coach Steve Holland was photographed during an open training session with notes referring to a possible line-up.

At the time, Southgate was not hugely concerned by the information on the notes, although he did suggest the decision to publish the photograph was potentially to his team's detriment.

"It doesn't bother me in the slightest," he said in Nizhny Novgorod. "There's a squad of 23 names on the sheet, the next sheet has different players in different positions because we swap people in and swap people out.

"For me, no drama but obviously any time if we were to give the opposition the opportunity of having our team is a disadvantage to us. So, of course, our media has to decide whether they want to help the team or not. But, given that was just a squad list, it doesn't make any difference really."

Defender Ben Chilwell, meanwhile, suggested such leaks are to be expected in modern football – although he admits it is key to have the "full trust" of all players and staff.

"We're a very tight squad but it's not just the team in there," he said on Tuesday. "There's a lot of people who work at the [St George's Park Hilton] hotel involved as well.

"It's not just an England team thing, it happens in club football as well. Stuff does always seem to come out.

"As long as we have full trust that the stuff that needs to stay confidential between the team does then we're happy."

Gareth Southgate presented a united front within his England camp – declaring "I love all of my players" – after his dramatic decision to drop Raheem Sterling over a bust-up with Joe Gomez.

Late on Monday, Southgate confirmed the decision to omit Manchester City forward Sterling from this week's Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro after the altercation at England's St George's Park training base.

Sterling and Liverpool centre-back Gomez clashed on the field during City's 3-1 defeat at Anfield in a highly charged Premier League encounter on Sunday, and the 24-year-old conceded "emotions got the better of me" in a social media post regarding the confrontation the following day.

Southgate credited his senior players for their influence in a resolution that saw Sterling remain with the England squad for training on Tuesday, and he was keen to defuse the situation when he faced a media conference afterwards.

"I think I'm dealing with a very young squad and we're in a sport where emotions often run high," Southgate said.

"I think Raheem in his post last night explained that, for a very brief moment, his emotions ran over.

"It would be correct to say that's not the same for Joe. These things happen in football. Then you have to find a way for the group to move forward.

"That needed some time, it needed time for emotions to calm down across the board. We have some excellent senior players who played a part in bringing everyone together. You need, as a manager, to see that everyone is ready to work together moving forward.

"My priority is always the care and wellbeing of all of my players – all of my players."

When asked whether he was disappointed by Sterling's actions, Southgate added: "I love all of my players. We're like a family and all families have disagreements.

"The most important thing for any family is that you communicate through those disagreements and you work through them."

Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez trained with England on Tuesday after their altercation rocked the build-up to Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro.

Sterling will not be considered for selection when England play their 1,000th international at Wembley this week after an incident in a private team area at St George's Park.

Manchester City forward Sterling clashed with Liverpool defender Gomez during the closing stages of his club's 3-1 defeat at Anfield on Sunday and, in an Instagram post, he conceded he let his emotions get the better of him when the pair were reunited on international duty.

Despite saying he and Gomez had since put the flashpoint behind them, England manager Gareth Southgate decided to take action.

Nevertheless, Sterling is still with the England squad and will be expected to return to the fray for the subsequent trip to Kosovo.

It meant he was in attendance to train at St George's Park alongside Gomez, wrapped up in a snood and woolly hat to guard against the elements.

Gary Neville has backed Southgate's decision to remove Sterling from England's next game, but Rio Ferdinand, the ex-Manchester United defender's team-mate for club and country, accused the Three Lions boss of hanging the 24-year-old "out to dry".

Sterling has scored 18 goals in 21 appearances for City and England in 2019-20.

Scott McTominay and Andrew Robertson have left the Scotland squad ahead of the final Euro 2020 qualifiers with Cyprus and Kazakhstan.

Bournemouth winger Ryan Fraser has also withdrawn, while Leeds United's Liam Cooper pulled out on Monday.

Midfielders Lewis Morgan and Graeme Shinnie have been added to the squad.

Manchester United midfielder McTominay damaged his ankle in the 3-1 Premier League win over Brighton and Hove Albion and had to be substituted.

The 22-year-old is expected to have tests on the problem later this week.

Scotland cannot qualify for Euro 2020 through Group I as they are 12 points behind top two Belgium and Russia with two games to play.

However, they will be involved in the play-offs in March after finishing top of Nations League C, Group 1.

Gareth Southgate made the right decision to drop Raheem Sterling over the incident with England team-mate Joe Gomez, according to Gary Neville.

Manchester City star Sterling is said to have been involved in a bust-up with Liverpool's Gomez in a private team area at St George's Park.

The pair had also been in an altercation during Liverpool's 3-1 Premier League defeat of City at Anfield on Sunday, a result that means the Reds sit nine points clear of the reigning champions.

Sterling – who was dropped from the England squad for Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifying match with Montenegro, the Three Lions' 1,000th international game – accepted his emotions got the better of him but insisted he and Gomez had quickly moved on.

In a statement on Monday, Southgate said the emotions of the Anfield match "were still raw" and that his decision to remove Sterling from consideration for the Montenegro game had the full backing of the squad.

Neville, who won 85 senior caps for England and was assistant to Roy Hodgson between 2012 and 2016, thinks Southgate was right to take reasonably strong action.

"I've been involved in quite a few of these things over the years with England and there is no right or wrong way, in the sense that I've seen managers sweep it under the carpet and try to keep a low profile on these sorts of things," he told Sky Sports.

"I've also seen managers go public, as Gareth has. What I would say is that the decision that Gareth has made... I feel like it's the right one without knowing the detail of what's gone on.

"There's nothing worse than sweeping it under the carpet, and then all the players going back to their own rooms they all share together, and having that feeling that they're all talking about you being weak, and that you've not dealt with it because he's a big player and that he's shied away from a big decision.

"So I feel that it's the right decision. Ultimately, if it's an incident that's happened in front of the rest of the squad that couldn't be dealt with internally and there was a breach of discipline then the manager has to act.

"Sometimes it can cause you some problems down the line, because players can then go back to their own rooms, and say 'the manager's been harsh, there - he's one of our best mates, he's one of our best players.

"But at least, if you're the manager, you know you've made the right decision based upon your principles and your values – that's what you should go with.

"I've seen incidents like this dealt with in both ways with England and there is no ideal because it's so public and the media want their pound of flesh, including ourselves. But the reality is that these things happen in football, and it will blow over."

Former Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany has warned Pep Guardiola not to buy a new defender in January.

City opted not to sign a replacement when Kompany left at the end of last season and Aymeric Laporte is not expected to return for at least another two months after sustaining a knee injury in September.

Guardiola has been left with John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi as his only two senior centre-backs and has been forced to deploy Fernandinho in the role at times this season.

City have looked shaky defensively in recent weeks, keeping only one clean sheet in six games in all competitions, and their concerns at the back were laid bare in Sunday's 3-1 defeat to Premier League leaders Liverpool at Anfield.

Kompany, though, does not think the solution is to spend big money on a reinforcement in the transfer window.

"I don't think they need to sign another defender," he told Sky Sports.

"We always struggle at Anfield. I said that on Super Sunday: you're fighting 25 years of not winning at Anfield and that's difficult, it's two games in one game - you're playing a great team and you're fighting history.

"Flip it around and the same will happen for Liverpool - they will fight the history of not winning the league for 30 years.

"That should be to City's advantage I still think. As to the defence, the best way for City to defend in the past has been to attack. They have no reason to change that.

"As soon as they start reconnecting with the best performances, I'm convinced that we can see a sustainable amount of wins."

The defeat, which leaves City nine points behind Liverpool in the table, was not without its controversy.

The opening goal from Fabinho was allowed to stand despite the ball having struck the arm of Trent Alexander-Arnold in the Liverpool box seconds earlier, with VAR backing referee Michael Oliver's decision not to give City a penalty.

"The incident happens and I'm confused," Kompany said. "That's the problem. I'm confused. I'm thinking 'okay, I'm not the expert in everything'. Then I look to my right at Jose Mourinho, Roy Keane and Graeme Souness. We're all confused.

"Surely that says something about the process, the fact that this could still be for debate when there's a VAR system that is meant to make football simpler and fairer?

"[The] goal happens 20 seconds later. My feeling remains that although Liverpool were great, and both teams tried to play the way they are known to play, I felt this first decision was so important to get right."

Lionel Messi is seemingly in no rush to extend his Barcelona contract.

Messi's future is regularly talked about after it was revealed earlier this year the superstar can leave the LaLiga giants for free at the end of any season.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner is contracted at Barcelona until 2021, though it remains to be seen if he wants to stay on beyond his current deal.

 

TOP STORY – MESSI IN NO RUSH OVER BARCELONA CONTRACT

Messi has no intention of discussing a contract extension at Barcelona until next season, according to Marca.

The 32-year-old plans to be at the club next season, the report says, but will not open talks regarding a new deal.

Messi has been at Barcelona during his entire professional career, winning 10 LaLiga titles and four Champions Leagues among numerous other trophies.

ROUND-UP

- Paris Saint-Germain are looking to the future. Sport reports the Ligue 1 giants are seriously considering a move for Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior. Kylian Mbappe and Neymar have been linked with moves away from PSG and the 19-year-old could help the French club going forward.

- Manchester City and Real Madrid could be set for a transfer battle. The clubs are interested in Real Sociedad and Spain forward Mikel Oyarzabal, according to CalcioMercato. The 22-year-old has scored 29 LaLiga goals since the start of 2017-18.

- Unai Emery has some time. The Sun reports the under-fire Arsenal head coach will be given until 2020 to turn the club's form around. It also reports Manchester City would allow assistant Mikel Arteta – an ex-Arsenal midfielder – to head to Emirates Stadium, should his former club want to appoint the Spaniard.

- Liverpool could strengthen in January. TalkSPORT reports the Premier League leaders are in advanced talks with Bournemouth over a deal to sign winger Ryan Fraser, who is out of contract at the end of the season. Bournemouth may want Harry Wilson – who is on loan from Liverpool – as part of a deal.

- Struggling in ninth in Serie A, Fiorentina may be ready to move on from Vincenzo Montella. The club are ready to make an approach for former Inter coach Luciano Spalletti, according to Firenze Viola.

Jurgen Klopp is unfazed about potentially leading Liverpool to a first FIFA Club World Cup title, but the manager is excited about the opportunity.

The European champions will be favourites for the tournament in Doha in December.

Liverpool have never won the FIFA Club World Cup, finishing as runners-up in 2005, but leading the Premier League giants to a first success at the tournament is not a focus for Klopp.

"Oh, I didn't think about that. I'm not someone who has to be the first on the moon or the first winning the World Cup with Liverpool, but when we are there then we will try with all we have," he told FIFA.com.

"The very interesting and difficult part as well is that we'll be playing against teams from other continents, which doesn't happen that often – maybe a Mexican team, maybe a Brazilian team – and it will be a tough one for sure.

"We'll prepare for it as we would usually, and we will see if it's right or wrong against the team from another continent.

"We don't have too much information yet, but we will by then for sure, and it will be interesting and difficult as well."

Liverpool will play Monterrey, Al-Sadd or Hienghene Sport in the semi-finals on December 18.

Klopp said there was no additional pressure on Liverpool, urging his team to make the most of the chance ahead of them.

"We will see. So far, I don't feel any pressure. I see it as an absolute opportunity as you don't often have the chance to play for it," he said.

"You have to win the Champions League as the European team, so that already makes it special.

"We knew it'd feel great when we won the Champions League, but then we had no real clue how it'd be around the European Super Cup. So, we played it and it felt really great and really big.

"When we go there, we will be prepared and looking forward to it. The boys want to play it, so it will be very interesting, and it will feel big for us, 100 per cent."

Raheem Sterling admitted emotions got the better of him in a bust up with Joe Gomez, but the England star is moving on after being dropped.

Sterling, 24, was reportedly involved in a physical confrontation with Gomez at England's training base on Monday and has been dropped for Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro.

The Manchester City star and Gomez were also involved in an altercation during Liverpool's 3-1 win over the Premier League champions on Sunday.

In a post on Instagram, Sterling said it was time to move on, but admitted he had let his emotions get the better of him.

"First and foremost everyone knows what that game means to me!" he wrote.

"Everyone knows that I am not that way inclined and more to the point ... both Joe and I have had words and figured things out and moved on.

"We are in a sport where emotions run high and I am man enough to admit when emotions got the better of me.

"We move [sic] this is why we play this sport because of our love for it – me and @joegomez5 are good we both understand it was a 5-10 second thing it's done we move forward and not make this bigger than it is.

"Let's get focus [sic] on our game on Thursday."

England are on the verge of qualifying for next year's tournament and face Kosovo in Pristina on Sunday after their clash with Montenegro.

Raheem Sterling will not be considered for England's Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro following a reported bust up between the Manchester City forward and Liverpool defender Joe Gomez.

Manchester City midfielder Rodri is not giving up on retaining the Premier League title after Sunday's 3-1 loss to Liverpool, highlighting the Reds' inability to hold on to their lead last season.

A thrilling encounter at Anfield left Liverpool with a nine-point lead over City, their most likely long-term challengers.

Many feel City now have too much ground to make up if they are to retain their crown, but they found themselves in a similar situation last season.

Although Rodri was not at the club at the time, the Spain international is well aware of how City fought back from being seven points behind the Reds to lift the trophy for a second successive season in 2018-19.

When asked if defeat at Anfield ended City's Premier League chances, Rodri told reporters: "Absolutely not. This team has shown it many times before.

"This team has won the Premier League two seasons in a row and that isn't a coincidence. This team has earned the respect and being considered for the title race.

"Last season, the team was seven points behind - and it could have been ten in case of losing [when the teams met in January] - and they managed to win the league in the end.

"We are in November. There are still a lot [of games] left. They [Liverpool] are very strong at the moment and they are having everything right. Let's see what happens in the future."

Rodri is also adamant Liverpool were fortunate to take all three points on Sunday, convinced City were significantly better on the day.

"They were more clinical than us, I think that was the key factor. I think we were much better overall," he said. "We created more chances than them, but they arrived to our goal three times and scored three goals."

Left-back Angelino, who impressed going forward in a rare Premier League start, was similarly rueful of City's inability to make the most of their chances, insisting the 3-1 defeat was harsh on the champions.

"I think so," he said when asked if City deserved a better result. "We created chances, we had opportunities to get back into the game, but, unluckily, we couldn't make it.

"We played really well, we have created many chances, we have only conceded three chances to Liverpool, but against a team like them, if you give them a chance, they take advantage of it.

"We have had more chances than them but, at the end of the day, we didn't use them. We are happy for the way we played.

"I think the whole team fought until the end, we gave everything and, if we keep playing like at Anfield, we can achieve great things."

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk admitted the win over Manchester City was "a bit special" even as he refused to look too far into the future.

The European champions took an eight-point lead atop the Premier League thanks to goals from Fabinho, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane in a 3-1 victory at Anfield on Sunday.

The top-of-the-table clash was billed as a key fixture in the context of a title race of which Liverpool are now firmly in charge.

Star centre-back Van Dijk, who was at pains to highlight the gruelling schedule that lies ahead of the Reds, acknowledged the match carried extra meaning.

"It's like any other three points, of course, but it was a bit special because you are playing against the champions, your direct rival, and I think it was a very good game to watch," the Netherlands international told reporters.

"Obviously we are very happy to get the three points.

"We all know and we all feel there are so many games left that so many things can happen between now and May.

"The only thing which can happen is for everyone to stay fit and we need everyone to play as well as they can. We are very happy with the position we are in, but we cannot take it for granted. We just have to keep going and take it game by game.

"You can imagine everyone is happy we got three points again, especially before an international break.

"It is not a nice feeling if you go into the international break having dropped points, especially at home, so we were very good, and we had to be if we were going to get the three points."

City roared back from a seven-point deficit at the turn of the year to beat Liverpool to the title last term and Van Dijk expects Pep Guardiola's side to mount another strong challenge.

"They are the champions first of all, so they will definitely be up there again," he said.

"The other teams have been doing well. The only thing we focus on is the game ahead of us, it's pretty boring that I keep saying it, but it is actually a fact. Let's just go for it."

Nine points separate Liverpool and fourth-place City, with Leicester City and Chelsea occupying the spots in between.

Georginio Wijnaldum wants Liverpool to implement the lessons of last season after taking a commanding lead atop the Premier League.

The Reds were clinical in a 3-1 victory over Manchester City that put nine points between the teams after 12 games.

Leicester City and Chelsea are a point closer, but Liverpool appear ready to bury the ghosts of being pipped to the title last term.

Jurgen Klopp's men were 10 points clear of City at the top at the end of last December only to go on to lose the title race by a single point.

"We have confidence because of the results we are getting but also because of the football we are playing. That's what we showed [on Sunday]," Wijnaldum told the Liverpool website.

"It's always good if you have a gap between the teams behind you [but] you can see with last season that it means nothing, because if you don't perform and get the results you need to get, they can close the gap really quick.

"So, what we have to do is just focus game by game and give our all and then at the end of the season we will see where we are.

"But I think we just have to enjoy the moment we are in now, because we worked hard for it, and try to carry on."

Early goals from Fabinho and Mohamed Salah, along with some favourable refereeing decisions, gave Liverpool a comfortable buffer at half-time of the Anfield encounter.

Jordan Henderson crossed for Sadio Mane to add a third after the interval before Bernardo Silva pegged one back for City with just over 10 minutes to play.

Wijnaldum commended the visitors for making life difficult for Liverpool in the second half.

"They just grew in the game and we tried to stop them with all we had," the midfielder said.

"That's what we did but you could still see that they have a lot of quality, so we did everything but sometimes they still came through our press. 

"That's the kind of team we were playing against, but I think overall we did a tremendous job by playing the way we played in there and we can be proud of ourselves."

Ilkay Gundogan insisted the Premier League title race was not over, although the midfielder accepted Manchester City were in an "uncomfortable" position.

The champions suffered a 3-1 loss to Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday, falling nine points behind Jurgen Klopp's league leaders.

City claimed the title last season despite slipping seven points behind and Gundogan is retaining hope they can again rally.

"We have to accept it, but there is a long way to go. Last season in January we were quite far behind and able to turn it around," the midfielder said, via the Manchester Evening News.

"But we are not independent any more. We have to see how our competitors do, especially Liverpool, and that makes the situation more uncomfortable.

"We have to keep trying to play well and amass as many points as possible. I don't feel the title has already gone, and I don't think the Liverpool players will feel like that, because we are all professionals.

"We all try to do our best on the pitch but sometimes it doesn't work out – we are human beings."

City fell behind in the sixth minute at Anfield, Fabinho's stunning strike giving the hosts the lead after the visitors were denied a penalty for a potential handball by Trent Alexander-Arnold at the other end.

Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane added goals for Liverpool before Bernardo Silva's 78th-minute strike, but Gundogan felt the opener hurt City.

"It was [a killer], also maybe because of the action just before the goal was scored. I felt like they were a bit positive in the seconds after the hand situation, and Fabinho scored a great goal," he said.

"It's always tough when they score the first, especially at Anfield, and then go straight away for the second one, with the crowd and their emotions.

"It takes a tough mentality to fight against that and unfortunately they scored the second straight after. It's a defeat and we have to take it."

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