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Travel restrictions likely to prevent Jude Bellingham joining up with England

England v Republic of Ireland – International Friendly – Wembley Stadium
(Image credit: Carl Recine)

Gareth Southgate has called up Jude Bellingham for England’s World Cup qualifiers but expects the Borussia Dortmund teenager to be ruled out due to coronavirus travel restrictions.

Having shone for hometown club Birmingham, the 17-year-old midfielder made a high-profile switch to the Bundesliga club last summer and has made an impressive start to life in Germany.

Bellingham made his senior England debut against the Republic of Ireland in November and was left out of England’s Under-21 Euros finals squad this month in order to join up with Southgate’s side.

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But regional Covid-19 regulations in Germany look set to prevent him joining up with the Three Lions, despite being named in the squad for the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino, Albania and Poland.

Asked if he knew what part Bellingham could play this month, Southgate said: “We don’t know. We’ve left him in the squad. At this moment in time it looks as though we won’t be able to take him.

“The quarantine rules in Germany looked like they’ll rule him out.

“But, as we’re seeing, those rules can change so quickly and while we’re still investigating what’s possible we wanted to name him in the squad.

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“We’ve got a really good relationship with Dortmund so no issues between us and the club.

“I’ve explained to Jude, that we’re leaving him there but we know it’s looking doubtful at this moment in time unfortunately for him that he’ll be able to join up.”

Dortmund team-mate Jadon Sancho would have been in the same position had the forward not been ruled out of the upcoming matches with a thigh injury.