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Last Updated: Sunday, 1 October 2006, 09:26 GMT 10:26 UK
McClaren made double Scholes plea
Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes
Scholes is back in the Man Utd team after missing much of last season
England manager Steve McClaren has revealed he has twice asked Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes to come out of international retirement.

Scholes quit the international scene in 2004 but McClaren wants the 31-year-old to change his mind.

"I asked in the summer and he declined and he declined again last week," he told BBC Five Live's Sportsweek.

"I don't expect to be asking him again but the door is always open and I would never close it on Paul Scholes."

Scholes made his England debut against South Africa in 1997 and went on to win 66 caps, scoring 14 goals.

He retired in order to spend more time with his family but there were also reports that he was unhappy at being played out of position by the then manager Sven-Goran Eriksson.

I'm looking to the future and players coming through - but the door is never closed

England boss Steve McClaren on David Beckham

Since then, Scholes has been hit by an eye problem, which forced him to miss much of last season, but he has returned to the United side this term and has shown glimpses of his best form.

McClaren said: "He just wants to concentrate on playing for United and his family, which were the reasons for his decision and I respect that."

At 31, Scholes is the same age as David Beckham, who has not played for England since McClaren took over as manager.

Despite injuries to midfielders Owen Hargreaves and Aaron Lennon, Beckham failed to win a recall to McClaren's latest squad.

England face Macedonia in a Euro 2008 qualifier at Old Trafford on 7 October and travel to Zagreb to play Croatia four days later.

McClaren added: "I've said why I made the decision and I stand by that. I'm looking to the future and players coming through - but the door is never closed."

Striker Wayne Rooney is back in the England fold following suspension and McClaren said he is not worried by the 20-year-old's stuttering form.

"He is a world-class player and he is a player who at any moment can change a game," said McClaren.

"Because of injury and suspension, he has hardly played any football and he has lost that rhythm.

"It takes a while to get that back but, believe me, Wayne Rooney will eventually explode into form and play as we know he can."

Meanwhile, McClaren said Colin Gordon will continue to be his agent, despite his representative's outspoken views on bungs in football.

Gordon labelled some agents "scum of the earth" and alleged that millions of pounds had been exchanged in corrupt deals.

McClaren said: "They are his personal views. By no means do they represent my opinions and I don't really want to say any more about it.

"Nobody from the Football Association has come to me and expressed a situation where Colin might not be my agent.

"At the present moment he is my agent and what might happen in the future is a private matter between me and him."

SEE ALSO
Parker recalled to England squad
29 Sep 06 |  Internationals
Eye problem ends Scholes' season
24 Jan 06 |  Man Utd
Scholes happy with England exile
01 Apr 05 |  Man Utd
Scholes rules out U-turn
26 Sep 04 |  Internationals


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