Fabio Capello has told David Beckham that he will not be part of his first England squad, which is being named this afternoon.
The England manager telephoned the midfielder last night and broke the news to Beckham – who is just one appearance short of becoming the fifth man to earn 100 England caps – but assured him he could be part of his plans for the future.
It is understood that Capello told the 32-year-old he wanted his players to be match-fit, and that naming Beckham in his squad to face Switzerland next week would be unfair on those who have been playing in matches week-in, week-out.
Beckham is very disappointed by the news, especially as he has been training with Arsenal during his holiday – Major League Soccer’s close season – to get fit for Capello’s first game in charge, the friendly against Switzerland at Wembley on Wednesday.
He has however been encouraged by his talk with Capello about the future.
In the phonecall, Capello told Beckham he was still part of his plans and that there was no reason why he will not pick him again as long as he is fit enough and playing well enough for the Los Angeles Galaxy.
It is also understood that Capello had no issue with Beckham going to Brazil and Africa this week.
Capello had been urged to give Beckham his 100th cap against Switzerland, if only to reward the player for his 10 years of service, but it is clear the Italian is refusing to indulge in any sentimentality.
Capello does know what Beckham can offer to a side – he was manager of Real Madrid last season and restored the England midfielder to the team after he was initially left out when he announced he was moving to America.
Beckham responded with a run of form that helped inspire Real to win the Spanish league.