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Joe Hart will be named in the England squad for the 2018 World Cup qualifying opener against Slovakia, manager Sam Allardyce has confirmed.
Hart is facing an uncertain future after being dropped from the Manchester City starting team for all of the club's matches this season and with Barcelona's Claudio Bravo on the verge of completing a switch to the Etihad Stadium, Hart has been told he is free to leave City either on loan or permanently.
His situation had raised questions over his involvement in England's World Cup qualifier, but Allardyce is happy to select the goalkeeper, although he admits it is a concern if players are not playing for their clubs.
"The problem for any player you want to select for England, not just in isolation but in total areas, is that it will be a concern if a player doesn’t play for his team. I think that you have to have your doubts about that," Allardyce told Sky Sports News.
“But before I meet up with Joe I don’t really know where he lies in that process at the moment, so I think that when we pick the first squad and then the lads come here [St George’s Park] there will be some lads that don’t play on a regular basis.
“Roy (Hodgson) talked about that many times before so I think that we, in the end, select the players that are in the best form. Are they fit and playing? Yes. Can you get them all in the England squad that play every week? Probably no now, so that is a concern that we have to overcome and hopefully that’s on top of hopefully not too many players getting injured.
“All that falls around on the basis that English players playing in the Premier League has diminished over the years, so we have to cope with that the best way that we can.
“In terms of picking Joe and the goalkeeper that he is, he will be in the squad – definitely. What do we do? I won’t really know that until I speak to Joe and that will be the same with most of the players when they arrive.”
Allardyce will name his first squad since his appointment at the weekend and his first big task will be announcing his captain.
Wayne Rooney currently holds the armband but his place in the squad has been in doubt following England's humiliating defeat to Iceland at Euro 2016.
"We will announce the squad then we’ll meet up and the first thing I would probably choose to tell the public and the media would be who is going to be the captain so we can get that one out of the way," Allardyce replied when asked about the captaincy.
“He’s England captain, he’s the most successful England player for the last decade, he’s broken every record at league level, Champions League level and international level, so yes, we should talk very much about Wayne and about how good he is, what a fantastic player he is and what a really, really good captain he is.
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