James Milner open to considering international retirement after Euro 2016

Liverpool midfielder James Milner says he will think about his England future after the Euros this summer, if he finds himself on the fringes of the first-team for his country.

James Milner open to considering international retirement after Euro 2016
(Picture: Getty Images)

James Milner has said he will consider international retirement if he finds himself with a bit-part role in the England squad beyond the coming Euros.

The Liverpool midfielder was an unused substitute as Roy Hodgson's men came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 against Germany in Berlin on Saturday night thanks to goals from Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier.

He is expected to feature in the Three Lions' friendly with Holland at Wembley on Tuesday and claim his 58th cap against the same country he made his debut against back in 2009. 

Milner, who has scored seven goals in 35 appearances in all competitions at club level this season, is set to face a fight to prove he is worthy of a place in Hodgson's 23-man squad for the European Championships in France  this summer.

And as the most experienced member of the current England contingent for their double-header, Milner has admitted that if he falls down the pecking order in the future then he will weigh up his options.

But the 30-year-old insists he will only consider stepping down in order to allow his other compatriots the chance to represent their country on the biggest stages.

Milner says he won't stand in the way of progress

Milner jokes with clubmate Henderson before flying to Berlin earlier in the week. (Picture: Getty Images)
Milner jokes with clubmate Henderson before flying to Berlin earlier in the week. (Picture: Getty Images)

"I don't know really, I can see pluses and minuses for both [staying or retiring] and you probably get criticised either way, whichever way you take it," said the former Manchester City and Aston Villa man when asked about walking away from international football.

But he did acknowledge that is a thought, and "a conversation", which he will discuss "with the manager at the start of next season" because he doesn't want to be "travelling around and not really contributing and being a good tourist."

An experienced campaigner, the Reds' vice-captain insisted that he still wants "to contribute" and said that if the England boss "sees I have a part to play, then great, and if not it is better for me to set aside and let the younger guys travel around."

Milner admitted that he has "built up a lot of caps and a lot of experience" having already played in four previous tournaments and said that "travelling around now, I can help the younger guys" who he said find it more "beneficial" to "come in and travel around."

He continued: "That's a conversation I will have with the manager and see where he sees me. If I am going to take on a lesser role, it is probably better for someone else to step up."