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‘They’re watching’ – Defoe confirms England contact

Striker says England staff have been in contact over a potential World Cup spot

Former Tottenham striker Jermaine Defoe has confirmed that he has been contacted by England staff ahead of this summer’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

Defoe left Spurs in February to join Toronto FC in the MLS franchise, and seemingly laid to rest his chances of making England’s squad for the tournament.

But the striker, who has scored three goals in four league appearances for Toronto so far, has confirmed he is being watched by England staff despite playing a lower standard of football.

"They're watching," Defoe is reported as saying on ESPN.

"I spoke to the physio this morning, he called me up and said, 'How are you feeling, is everything 100%?' I said, 'Yeah.”

"And he said, 'Good, because Roy Hodgson wants the physios to phone all the players that potentially could be in the 23-man squad. He's got a list of 30.'"

Defoe’s comments suggest that he is already part of Roy Hodgson’s preliminary 30-man squad that he will announce on Monday.

If so, the 31-year old will face stiff competition from forwards Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck, Ricky Lambert and Andy Carroll, who are all in with chances of travelling to Brazil.

Many feel Defoe’s inclusion in Hodgson’s plans would be secured had he stayed at Tottenham this season. Defoe was forced out of former Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas’ plans when big money signings Erik Lamela and Roberto Soldado arrived at White Hart Lane last summer.

But both men have found it tough to fit in in English football, and instead the goal-scoring responsibilities have rested heavily on Emmanuel Adebayor after he was drafted back into the squad by interim manager Tim Sherwood.

Monday will see the confirmation of Defoe’s role within the England set-up, as Roy Hodgson readies his troops for their tough task of qualifying from a group containing Uruguay and Italy in June.

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