London: Coach Fabio Capello has warned star striker Wayne Rooney that he is not guaranteed to return for England when his Euro 2012 suspension ends.
Capello also said the Manchester United striker “will not play” in next month’s friendly against Spain when his club-mate Danny Welbeck will feature.
Rooney’s red card in the 2-2 qualifying draw against Montenegro means Capello must prepare for the opening game of Euro 2012, and probably the second depending on next month’s UEFA disciplinary meeting, without his best player.
Capello’s hard-line stance on Rooney is a contrast to Sven-Goran Eriksson’s before the 2006 World Cup, a leading daily reports.
England’s then coach made it clear that Rooney would be instantly restored to the starting XI when his metatarsal had healed. Some believe Rooney was even rushed back.
Capello sounded less accommodating. Asked whether he would countenance overlooking an available Rooney, Capello replied: “Yes, yes, yes, no, yes!’’ That solitary “no” hinted at prevarication, although the Italian then insisted he would keep faith with any understudy who shone. “If they are good, they will play.”