Carrick set to face Italy
Manchester United's Michael Carrick is available for selection for England against Italy
Michael Carrick is set to win his first England cap since May 2010 next week after assuring manager Roy Hodgson he does want to extend his Three Lions career.
The Manchester United midfielder was overlooked for Euro 2012 despite his outstanding form at the end of last season after Carrick made it clear he did not want to be considered.
It is thought Carrick's unease dated back to his experience at the 2010 World Cup, when he was selected by Fabio Capello but did not play a single minute, and Hodgson told Sky Sports: "Michael Carrick would have always been in our thinking. I was given to believe he didn't want to be part of the England set-up."
However, speaking in Cape Town last month, Carrick did not close the door on an England return and it is understood former team-mate Gary Neville, now part of Hodgson's backroom team, made contact, which has turned into a call-up for Wednesday's friendly with Italy in Berne.
So, despite Tottenham duo Jake Livermore and Steven Caulker, plus Chelsea's Ryan Bertrand being selected for the first time in a much-changed squad, it is United man's name that stands out.
"He has had discussions with Gary and me since and it turns out that he does want to play," Hodgson said. "This is an ideal opportunity to invite him to come and play for England again."
Carrick will be partnered against Italy by Frank Lampard, who will captain the team. Along with Chelsea team-mate Gary Cahill and Norwich keeper John Ruddy, Lampard has been given the chance to impress after being forced to withdraw from Euro 2012 duty through injury.
After watching two of Great Britain's four matches, Hodgson has picked five members of Stuart Pearce's Olympic squad, including uncapped Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley.
"There are nine young players in total if you count Jack Rodwell and Jake Livermore, who I also wanted to have a look at," said Hodgson. "You don't get many chances to look at other potential candidates when you have a fairly settled squad of players. This friendly is an ideal opportunity."
Birmingham keeper Jack Butland, who was at both Euro 2012 and the Olympic Games, has been picked but will be released back to his club, who have a Capital Cup round one tie against Barnet at St Andrews on Tuesday evening.
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