Possible Sarri boost as Chelsea star makes major announcement

Chelsea centre-back Gary Cahill has become the latest player to signal the end of their England career following the World Cup.

The 32-year-old was included in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man squad as the Three Lions reached the semi-finals in Russia.

Cahill played the full 90 minutes in the group stage defeat to Belgium but was an unused substitute in their six other matches, with Kyle Walker, John Stones and Harry Maguire preferred in the back-three.

Southgate will select his first squad since the summer on Thursday but Cahill, who has 61 caps, has ruled himself out for selection – but is open to a return if called upon.

‘I think it’s time that I take a step back now,’ he told Chelsea TV.

‘It’s the right moment to do that. ‘I’ve been hugely proud of what I’ve achieved, over 60 caps, I’ve captained my country on a few occasions, which has been a huge honour and something I’ve been really proud of.

‘At the same time, in your football career you never want to shut a door completely, I’ve been hugely honoured to play for my country and if I’m ever needed, I’m there.’

Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, 31, became the first England player to retire from international football following the World Cup earlier on Tuesday.

Cahill’s future with his club is also uncertain having not been included in a matchday squad in any new manager Maurizio Sarri’s first three Premier League games in charge.

Early international retirement often comes at the benefit of club sides but it remains to be seen whether Chelsea will capitalise on Cahill’s reduced schedule.

Antonio Rudiger, Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz and Andreas Christensen are all ahead of the ex-Bolton Wanderers man in the pecking order and it will take a monumental effort to force his way back into contention.

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