Declan Rice insists speculation over the transfer of a number of England squad players will not be a distraction as they prepare for one of the biggest games of their careers against England. ‘Germany.
Manchester City are considering a move for Jack Grealish after the Euro and have already offered £ 100million for Harry Kane, while Manchester United are in advanced talks on a deal for Jadon Sancho.
Rice has been linked on several occasions with possible moves to Chelsea and United, with Kieran Trippier, Raheem Sterling and Ben White also likely to change clubs this summer.
But Gareth Southgate has made it clear to the team that these concerns need to be put aside until after the tournament, and Rice said the players have signed on to the plan.
“There is speculation, but the main focus is on the country trying to win this tournament,” Rice said.
“If the players want to move, that can be sorted out after the tournament. Gareth has always said that you have to be strictly focused on England, and whatever happens at your club is sorted out after the tournament.”
“I’m sure Gareth wants revenge”
Rice also said the England players wanted to win their round of 16 game against Germany on Tuesday for their manager, in order to eradicate painful memories of Southgate against Germany at the Euro.
Southgate missed England’s crucial penalty against Germany in a penalty shootout in the Euro 96 semi-finals. In his autobiography, he describes himself as the man who shattered a nation’s dream.
“Yeah, that’s tough,” Rice admits. “I’m sure Gareth is going to want revenge for this.
“He missed a penalty. Everyone misses the penalties. I missed one two days before the end of the season. It’s football. But for Gareth, I’m sure he’s ready, and j ‘hope we can do it for him so he can get his own revenge. “
Rice has had her own penalty nightmares. As a young player coming from Chelsea academy he says he has cost his team on several occasions.
“Three different tournaments at Chelsea when I was a kid, and three penalties for winning it for us, and I missed all three,” he added. “It doesn’t look very good.”
“I’m sure I can put the ball away from the penalty spot”
Rice says he’s grown up since then and learned a better penalty technique. He says the England team practice on penalties regularly, after most training sessions.
“I think when I was a kid I was excited and nervous,” he said. “I’ve been practicing them at West Ham all year too, and it’s pretty much that process in my head.
“When the referee blows his whistle, you don’t have to go right there. Give yourself a few seconds, some breathing techniques to try and relax. And then the visualization – how you see yourself putting the ball in the back of the ball. net.
“These are all the things that I tried to develop as I got older.”
He says if it comes to penalties against Germany next week, England players will not back down under the pressure.
“If my name is called to go out there and do it, I’m sure I can put the ball away,” he added.