• Mason Greenwood made his England debut last year against Iceland
  • He was sent home early from that camp for breaching COVID-19 rules
  • He has not played for the Three Lions since then

Gareth Southgate revealed Manchester United forward Mason Greenwood has asked to "park" his England career until next year.

Following his rise at Old Trafford, Greenwood was handed his senior England debut last year in September in a match against Iceland. However, the forward was sent home early from that England camp after violating COVID-19 rules with Manchester City's Phil Foden.

Greenwood has since not played for England yet, with Southgate leaving the 20-year-old forward out of his squad once again ahead of the Three Lions' 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Albania and San Marino.

"We had a discussion before the camp in September and we came to an agreement. John McDermott [the FA’s technical director] and I went to United and had a good chat with Mason and his family and we agreed we would park this until next year, basically. We would leave the autumn games," Southgate said when he was asked in a press conference Thursday about Greenwood's exclusion, Goal reported.

Greenwood, who made his Manchester United debut during the 2018-19 campaign, has so far made 118 competitive appearances for the Red Devils, scoring 33 goals and providing 11 assists.

"We totally understand where he is. We said last month with young players their pathway and load are different. He’s at a massive football club with massive expectations. He recognizes that is part of making it at international football. We want to get it right with young players. This happens with most players at this age. It’s a very familiar path for us in youth development," Southgate said in the same press conference, English publication Metro reported.

Meanwhile, the Three Lions boss also made it clear that Greenwood wants to play for England and he understands that if he delivers for Manchester United, he'll be close to returning to the England side.

"We are not not picking Mason because we don't think he’s good enough or we are not happy with what he requested. We are totally understanding of that and we are happy to wait. If he establishes himself in Manchester United’s team then he is going to be very close to an England squad or an England team so he recognizes that. He wants to play for England. He is clear about that," added Southgate.

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Mason Greenwood is contracted with Manchester United until 2025 AFP / Paul ELLIS

While Greenwood, Jesse Lingard and Jadon Sancho were not picked by Southgate, he recalled the Red Devils captain Harry Maguire and forward Marcus Rashford.