Luke Shaw asks Man Utd to buy 'world class' Harry Kane and Declan Rice after private chats

“I am not going to lie,” he said. “I am speaking to them, telling them how good Manchester is because I know their qualities. I know they are world-class players and they would be a massive help to us but I can only say so much.

“It is up to the club and whatever they decide so we have to go from there. They have been here the last couple of days and hopefully they like it and can get used to it! If it was down to me, I would take them in a heartbeat.

“They would improve our team massively and help us go to what we want to achieve.” Southgate has refused to ban transfer talk around the camp as England prepare to face North Macedonia at Old Trafford.

“I haven’t felt the need to say anything,” he said. “The players are tapping each other up anyway on the quiet so I can’t do anything about that! What I have said is these things run their course, they happen in their own time, you can’t force it as a player.

“Don’t get frustrated, don’t be asking all summer. You don’t need to be updated on every call that happens. A lot of negotiation goes on. I remember as a player getting too wrapped up in every detail of that. In the end, there is only a small amount that you can actually control.

“All of those things will happen later on in the summer and the players understand that.” Jack Grealish has managed to get in below “the line” after Southgate declared Manchester City’s celebrating players all fit for duty.

An unexpected trip to Ibiza and social media pictures showing him slightly the worse for wear had Southgate warning before the trip to Malta of a line which should not be crossed. Belief that the £100million star was in the doghouse grew in strength when he was one of just two unused England players seen doing shuttle runs across the penalty area following the 4-0 win in Ta’Qali.

However, Southgate revealed the additional work was entirely voluntary and had no problem with the physical condition of any of the City players ahead of the second game of the double header against North Macedonia. Not least because they were all put fully through their paces on Saturday when they arrived back in England.

“Am I happy at their levels? Yeah no question,” Southgate said. “I mean there is a line because if there wasn’t one then what would we do? Jack and Kalvin Phillips went out and wanted to do that warm down.

“It was their choice - we hadn’t planned for that. We knew the players who hadn’t played would have a specific session the next day where we would hit the intensity button. That was their choice. They are all ready to play.”

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