Gareth Southgate: Jose Mourinho ‘fairly difficult’ to keep happy, says England boss

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Gareth Southgate: Jose Mourinho ‘fairly difficult’ to keep happy, says England boss

Gareth Southgate says trying to keep Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho happy would be “fairly difficult” – and that he will not stop making decisions “that are right for England”.

The England coach has picked United’s Marcus Rashford, 19, in his squad.

The teenage striker will now miss the Under-21 European Championship this summer – something Mourinho wanted.

“I’m not in a position where I can make decisions to keep people happy. I’m not going to achieve that,” said Southgate.

“The key is not the relationship with Jose, it’s the relationship with Marcus. I didn’t speak to him [Mourinho] about it. I let him know where I was heading at the end.”

Mourinho said last month Rashford should not go to the Euros as “it does not make a lot of sense to drop levels”.

The FA previously indicated young players needed tournament experience.

Rashford has instead been called up for the World Cup qualifier against Scotland on 10 June and the friendly against France three days later.

He played 58 games for United and England this season, scoring 11 goals, having broken into his club’s first-team last term.

Just four months into his first professional season in February 2016, he was selected for Euro 2016 by England manager Roy Hodgson and has gone on to win eight caps.

Rashford led the line in United’s Europa League final win over Ajax and came on in the EFL Cup final triumph over Southampton.

Southgate said he “wants a good working relationship with the clubs” but has to make decisions “that are right for England”.

The former international defender added: “I have got to make decisions that are right for England seniors long term, I’m always mindful of what is right for the players.

“Respectfully, none of the managers are going to be around in 10 years, or it’s very, very unlikely, and I think people like Marcus Rashford will be.

“So there’s always going to be some collision at some point on that and some disagreement on that.”