Southgate reveals Kane could be selected for Nations League duty even if he misses Champions League final

The England boss is remaining patient regarding the fitness of his captain with important fixtures fast approaching

Gareth Southgate has revealed that he will be closely monitoring Harry Kane’s progress ahead of the Nations League semi-final against Netherlands on June 6, with Tottenham competing in the Champions League final five days prior.

England’s captain has been out of action since suffering an ankle injury during Spurs’ Champions League quarter-final first leg victory over Manchester City on April 9.

The 25-year-old has been fighting to return to fitness ever since and watched on as his team-mates completed a remarkable second-half comeback against Ajax to reach the final in at Wanda Metropolitano.

Fans were given some hope by Kane’s celebrations at the Johan Cruyff Arena, with the striker sprinting onto the pitch after the final whistle to join Tottenham’s wild celebrations following Lucas Moura’s last-gasp winner.

Southgate included Kane in his initial 27-man squad, with the final squad of 23 set to be confirmed on May 27.

The England boss feels that his talisman could miss the Champions League final but still represent his country in the Nations League however, telling BBC Radio 5 Live: “Frankly, we will know a lot more about that [Kane’s fitness] if he is in Tottenham’s team.”

When questioned on whether the striker needs to appear in the Champions League final to be selected for England duty, Southgate said: “Not necessarily because they might take a view that [Lucas] Moura scored a hat-trick and Son [Heung-min] played well so they keep Harry as an impact player.

“So without talking to Mauricio [Pochettino], I don’t know what his thinking on that will be, I guess that depends on how Harry trains in the build-up to the game.

“So no, I don’t think it is an absolute he has to play there or he is not ready four days later.

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“Equally he could play in the final and not be right four days later for us, we are just going to have to play it by ear because he is not going to have had a game prior to that point.

“Where there are one or two others we need to know a lot more about in the next week, he is one I will make an exception for in that I will see how it goes in the final week.”

Both England and Tottenham fans will be waiting with bated breath on Kane’s progress, with the 2018 World Cup Golden Boot winner netting 24 goals in 39 games for Spurs across all competitions this season.