England manager Gareth Southgate has informed Chelsea defender Reece James that he will not be part of his World Cup squad, 90min understands.
James injured his knee against AC Milan in mid-October and has since been battling to try and prove his fitness.
The 22-year-old had been hopeful that he would fit to play by the end of the month, and be available for England’s final group with Wales on November 29th.
However, Southgate has decided – having consulted England’s medical staff – not to pick James as they don’t believe he will be fit enough to play any major part in the tournament.
James had flown to Dubai at the start of November to try and accelerate his recovery, but with Southgate due to name his final 26-man party on Thursday, he has failed to convince the England boss and his medical staff that he’ll be ready.
90min understands that Southgate would have been prepared to take James if there were guarantees on a return date – but the Three Lions medical team, who have been in close contact with James and Chelsea throughout, advised him that they could not give a set date on when he could play again.
Sources have confirmed to 90min that Southgate has informed James of his decision, sidelining him alongside teammate Ben Chilwell, who will also miss the tournament because of a hamstring injury.
There is better news for Manchester City duo Kyle Walker and Kalvin Phillips – both about to return from injury – as they have been told that they will been included in the final 26-player squad – which Southgate will confirm on Thursday.