Gareth Southgate says Joe Hart’s England career may not be over

England manager Gareth Southgate explains Joe Hart's omission from the World Cup squad

Gareth Southgate says Joe Hart’s international career is not over despite being left out of England’s World Cup squad.

The experienced Hart has 75 England caps but Southgate opted for Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope when choosing his goalkeepers for Russia this summer.

Asked about the decision on Thursday, Southgate said: “Of course it was a difficult call.

“Joe played in most of our qualifying matches, he’s been a big part of the England team the last few years, and he’s a valued member of the squad.

“But in the end, I’ve got to look at performances over the last 18 months with their clubs, and the three lads we picked were the three best goalkeepers in the league this year.”

Hart remains a Manchester City player but has been on loan at Torino and then West Ham over the last two seasons and it is unclear where he will play next season.

Gareth Southgate says Jack Wilshere's end to the season ruled him out of contention for a place in England's World Cup squad

However, Southgate made it clear that a settled and in-form Hart could easily return to the England fold.

“I pick players on form and, if he’s playing well for his club, why wouldn’t we select him?” said Southgate.

“There’s no reason for this to be the end. He has an important career decision this summer and I hope he can be back at his very best.”

More to follow …