Focus on England, not transfers, Hodgson tells players

(Reuters) – England manager Roy Hodgson has told his squad to forget about potential club transfers and focus on their Euro 2016 campaign.

With Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy the subject of a bid from Arsenal, according to British media, Hodgson has reportedly banned agents from the team hotel in Chantilly, though he is more concerned with players concentrating on the job at hand.

England open their Group B campaign against Russia on Saturday before facing Wales and Slovakia.

“Whether they (agents) come to the hotel or not is a moot point,” he was quoted as saying on The Independent website. “They will be talking to the players face to face, on the phone or via Skype or Facebook, who the hell knows?

“But one thing this group of players know and have accepted is that when you are on England duty, you are on England duty.

Hodgson added that if a player decided to move clubs while on England duty he would not be allowed to leave to undertake a medical.

“It is not a question of you sorting out your future, or diving off for medicals,” he said.

“We control all of that and you have to accept there is a good chance that, if you say you want to go for a medical, that we will say, ‘We are not allowing that and you better bring your people here’.

“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.”

(Writing by Ken Ferris; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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