Brighton's James Milner reveals why he rejected England boss Gareth Southgate offer

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Brighton summer signing James Milner has explained why he once turned down Gareth Southgate's offer to play for England again after announcing his international retirement.

The Albion utility player decided to call it a day with the Three Lions in 2016 after being told by then-manager Sam Allardyce that he would be a backup squad player. The veteran, who played 61 times for his country, said at the time he wanted to allow younger players to rise through the ranks but later that year, new boss Southgate tried to coax him out of retirement.

"Southgate rang me and said, 'I want you back, I think you'd play a big part for us, [a] leader' and stuff like that," Milner told the High Performance Podcast.

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"My feeling was that if he [Southgate] had been the next England manager in six weeks before and he said what he said [then] I'd have definitely carried on, 100 per cent. But at that point, I had retired and I feel like when you do something you fully commit to it 100 per cent and I just felt well how does it look me retiring, now I'm not retiring, changing it on the wind of an opinion.

"It just felt like the right thing that I'd done it, even though if he had been the manager (after Roy Hodgson) I'd have carried on playing."

Milner, who was 30 at the time, has since played hundreds of times for Liverpool, winning a host of major trophies, and earlier this year, he swapped Anfield for the Amex on a free transfer.