Raheem Sterling was left furious by a press leak that alleged he would be England captain for tonight’s UEFA Nations League clash with the Netherlands.
Purple PR released a statement on behalf of Sterling’s representative agency, Colossal Sports Management, claiming he would wear the England skipper’s armband.
Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate denied this by declaring he has yet to make any decision on the matter. With Harry Kane’s fitness still doubtful, however, he may have to appoint a new captain anyway.
But Sterling denied he will replace Kane as captain and apologised to Southgate for the leak.
“I couldn’t tell you [how it happened]. I woke up this morning fuming,” said Sterling, according to Yahoo.
“I had a conversation with Gareth. I hadn’t had a conversation with anyone in my agency, so it was a strange one to wake up to
“The first thing I saw after coming off the phone to my agent was Gareth down the hallway, and I apologised to him for what had happened. I don’t know where it’s come from.
“The captaincy is something that’s down to the manager and not for me to decide.”
Sterling has established himself as a key man of the England squad since debuting in a friendly against Sweden in November 2012.
The Manchester City winger will make his 50th appearance at international level if Southgate plays him tonight.
“I feel grown up. I’ve watched a lot of England games, and I always had a dream to play for them,” he said.
“I never thought I’d be in with a chance to win a 50th cap. [It’s] a massive achievement for me, and something I’ll cherish for the rest of my life, and so will my family.”
Sterling has provided eight goals and 14 assists in his 49 games for England.