Fabio Capello says Wayne Rooney will not start in any of England’s friendlies ahead of the 2012 European Championships.
Rooney will be suspended for at least the first game of the finals in Poland and Ukraine after being red carded against Montenegro on Friday night. The length of the ban will be determined by UEFA, who are due to meet on Thursday, and their decision will depend on the content of referee Wolfgang Stark’s report.
England coach Capello, whose side are 9/1 with bookmaker to win the tournament, must now prepare for the finals without the Manchester United striker, who could even face a fight to win back his place in the side.
Rooney will not feature against Spain next month at Wembley as Capello weighs up his options.
“Rooney will not play against Spain – absolutely,” said the Italian. “I want to test new players, a different style and a new different movement, something different.
“Sometimes he will come on at half-time but not from the start. He will not start. We need to prepare the first 11 who will start the Euros.”