Wilfried Zaha has rejected claims by Gareth Southgate he gave a timescale on when he should be called up to the three lions before picking to play for Ivory Coast.
The winger represented England in two friendly matches before he decided to represent his country of birth.
A statrmstatement released by Zaha’s representative has disputed the claims made by Southgate and also stated the Ivorian already made his decision before Southgate was confirmed as manager.
“In light of recent comments and reports questioning Wilfried’s desire or passion to play for England I feel it important to set the record straight,” the statement said.
“Wilfried did not impose a timescale or set a date by which he had to be selected by England, there was no ‘disappearing egg timer’.
“The ‘private’ meeting with Mr Southgate was very amicable, however the fact remains that Wilfried made his decision to play for the Ivory Coast prior to Mr Southgate being appointed interim and subsequently permanent England manager.
“It was Wilfried’s personal choice and it was his right as a senior player to accept the opportunity to represent his nation of birth and that of his family heritage. His ‘desire’ or ‘passion’ should never have been publicly questioned for making that decision.
“Wilfried is very proud of his family and very proud to represent the Ivory Coast, most recently demonstrated by his performance against Russia.”