James Milner has reportedly declined the opportunity to end his international retirement for England ahead of this summer's World Cup.
The veteran Liverpool star was asked by representatives of Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate, according to the Times newspaper, to make a sensational return to the England fold after a number of impressive displays for the Reds.
However, Milner has opted not to take up the chance to add to his 61-cap haul and will instead focus on spending the off season resting up ahead of the 2018/19 campaign for Jurgen Klopp's side.
Milner had already been asked to reconsider his stance on the international scene by Southgate when the ex-defender took up the reins - initially as a caretaker - following the dismissal of Sam Allardyce from the head coach role.
The 33-year-old, though, declined to take up the call from Southgate then and has done so again now - the midfielder knowing full well that he must continue to focus his energies on his club if he is to extend his longevity at the top of the game.
Milner called time on his England career after Euro 2016 as he looked to keep himself fresh enough to play for Liverpool in both domestic and continental competitions, and that decision has paid off in spades with the former Leeds starlet becoming an integral part of the starting lineup this term.
Apparently Gareth Southgate has begged James Milner to come out of retirement and back into the international fold...— Steve Trendall (@stevetrendall) 25 April 2018
Do we have nothing better as an option for left back than him?
Southgate resorting to this puts into perspective how poor England have become 🤦♂️
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Milner has helped Liverpool up to third in the league standings and on the brink of a Champions League final appearance next month, and if Klopp's side lift a sixth European Cup then it will be a decision well made by Milner.
The utility man's absence from the England fold will allow other notable call-ups such as Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Jack Wilshere to stake their claim for a place on the plane to Russia.
Milner's club teammates Jordan Henderson and Nathaniel Clyne are in with a shout of featuring for England throughout June and July, but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain won't after he damaged knee ligaments in the 5-2 win over Roma last Tuesday.