Rio Ferdinand unlikely to be called up for England despite John Terry retirement – Sir Alex Ferguson

I don't think Roy can take Rio back even though Terry's gone, says Ferguson

|

UPDATED:

10:42 GMT, 28 September 2012

Sir Alex Ferguson does not think Rio Ferdinand will be called up for England duty despite John Terry's international retirement.

England boss Roy Hodgson said Ferdinand was excluded from his Euro 2012 squad for 'football reasons', though many believed it was because he could not be selected along with Terry.

Terry was embroiled in a race row case involving Ferdinand's brother, Anton, which threatened to divide the squad.

Unlikely: Sir Alex Ferguson does not expect Rio Ferdinand to be called up

Unlikely: Sir Alex Ferguson does not expect Rio Ferdinand to be called up

In advance of the FA hearing on the matter, Terry confirmed he was quitting the England set-up because he felt his position was 'untenable'.

That raised the spectre of Ferdinand being recalled to bolster Hodgson's central defensive options.

'I wouldn't think he will get called up,' said Ferguson.

'Roy Hodgson made his decision before the European Championships and I can't see him changing that.

'It would be difficult for him now to go back to Rio Ferdinand and welcome him back.'

Ferdinand has said he would never turn his back on England, even if privately he believed his international career was destined to end on 81 caps.

'You never know,' said Ferguson. 'But I think it's difficult. I don't know if Rio would do it – I haven't asked him.'

Hodgson does have alternatives to Ferdinand. But Joleon Lescott and Phil Jagielka struggled when Terry missed the World Cup qualifier with Ukraine at Wembley earlier this month.

Gary Cahill was also in Hodgson's squad, having missed out on Euro 2012 through injury, but only has 10 caps, while Manchester United duo Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are both presently missed with foot and knee problems respectively.

Football reasons: Ferguson thinks Roy Hodgson will not go back on his decision

Football reasons: Ferguson thinks Roy Hodgson will not go back on his decision

'There is a danger of it resurrecting itself because it has been going on so long,' said the Manchester United manager.

'But the fact he got a four-game ban, he may consider that is quite lenient considering Luis Suarez got eight.

'It is time to move on and so should the game.'

What next Roy Hodgson with Terry

What next Roy Hodgson with Terry

Ferguson confirmed winger Antonio Valencia was 'doubtful' for Saturday's Old Trafford clash with Tottenham after picking up an ankle injury during the win at Liverpool.

The United boss said young defender Scott Wootton would be part of his squad as back-up to Ferdinand and Jonny Evans after impressing against Newcastle in midweek.

Darren Fletcher, who completed the full 90 minutes against Newcastle as he battles to combat a chronic bowel complaint, is unlikely to start as he is being saved for Tuesday's Champions League encounter with CFR Cluj.

Ferguson said: 'He may get a place on the bench and he could go to Romania next week.'