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England boss Gareth Southgate has already named 40-man squad for Euro 2024

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GARETH SOUTHGATE has already handed over his first Euro 2024 squad to Uefa… but the names will remain a closely-guarded secret.

Ahead of every major summer tournament, competing nations submit initial long lists featuring 40 names, with England submitting theirs a week ago.

Gareth Southgate has handed over his preliminary squad list to Uefa

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Gareth Southgate has handed over his preliminary squad list to UefaCredit: Getty

The players on the Three Lions’ list are now aware they will not be able to rush off on holiday hours after the final games on Sunday.

The England boss will then name a Euro 2024 training squad next Tuesday featuring at least 30 players.

Southgate’s men have a friendly at Newcastle against Bosnia and Herzegovina on June 3 and then play Iceland four days later.

Manchester City and Manchester United players will not feature in the first friendly at St James’ Park because they will only have just linked up with England after being given a week’s holiday following the FA Cup final.

Real Madrid’s Jude Bellingham is likely to miss both friendlies as he will play in the Champions League final on June 1.

England’s stars will first meet at Middlesbrough’s Rockliffe Park training ground on Wednesday May 29 and Southgate will want to ensure he has at least 22 players available for 11v11 matches.

Southgate has the added worry of the Newcastle vs Tottenham friendly in Australia a week today and will hope the likes of James Maddison, Anthony Gordon and Kieran Trippier all avoid injury.

The England manager will now have a 26-man squad after the number has been increased by Uefa from 23 players.

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Southgate will hand in his final Euro squad within two hours after the final game against Iceland on June 7 and it will be announced by the FA the following morning.

Man City to be upstaged

Manchester City will have to share centre stage on the final day of the season… with Barry Manilow.

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The American singer is due to play at the troubled Co-op Live Arena on Sunday which is in the shadow of the Etihad and also part-owned by the City Football Group.

It will be the first time a first-team game has clashed with a concert, meaning the logistics around the stadium will be severely tested.

Olivia Rodrigo was due to play at the arena on the same day that City hosted Wolves earlier this month but it was postponed due to the teething problems at the venue.

City’s own Rodrigo (Rodri) had top billing that day instead.

Manilow announced recently he had lined up the AO arena – formerly known as the MEN Arena – as a back-up in case the Co-op was not ready but now, it looks like it’s going ahead.

Free to sign

Dougie Freedman’s chances of being offered the Newcastle sporting director job may have been helped by the fact that he uses the same agent as manager Eddie Howe.

Currently Crystal Palace’s sporting director, Freedman – along with Toon boss Howe – is represented by Dean Baker of Wasserman Media Group.

Howe’s relations with Newcastle’s outgoing sporting director, Dan Ashworth, have recently become strained so a good working relationship between the club’s two most senior football employees is vital.

Freedman is down to the final two candidates for the role along with German recruitment expert Johannes Spors, who is currently the sporting director at 777Partners.

He previously worked for Genoa, Vitesse Arnhem and Red Bull Leipzig.

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