Wiegman relaxed on England contract talks as focus shifts to World Cup


arina Wiegman is relaxed about contract talks with England and is instead focusing on securing qualification for next year’s World Cup.

The Lionesses are on the cusp of qualifying for the tournament in Australia and New Zealand and can do so next month with a point against Austria or, failing that, victory over Luxembourg.

England are eyeing World Cup glory after winning this summer’s European Championship, with manager Wiegman taking them all the way just a year after being appointed.

The Football Association (FA) revealed earlier this month that they are planning talks with Wiegman over a new contract and she is relaxed about the situation given that she still has three years left to run on her current deal.

“I spoke to them right after the Euros. I got the exact same message that you have for the moment,” Wiegman said.

“We just came back from holiday, we are now getting really ready for this camp and for the qualification matches that are really important of course. I still have a contract now for three years. So we don’t have to do that conversation tomorrow, but we do it in a short while.

“First now it’s about the squad and the games, and then we’ll sit down and have a conversation. I just really appreciate that they are reaching out to me and that they have been happy with me, and also the rest of the staff.”

Wiegman on Wednesday named her squad for the matches against Austria and Luxembourg, and there were five changes from the group who won Euro 2022.

Chloe Kelly and Fran Kirby miss out through injury, while goalkeeper Hannah Hampton has been left out for personal reasons. Ellen White and Jill Scott, meanwhile, have both retired. It has meant a recall for Arsenal midfielder Jordan Nobbs, who missed out on the Euros due to injury.

“It was very unfortunate for her that she got injured,” said Wiegman. “She worked really hard to come back and now she has done well with her preparation with her club.

“So we just want to see her again in our environment. Also, because Fran is not available of course, we are looking at midfielders to get balance back in midfield. We are excited and she is excited.”

Chelsea youngster Lauren James, the sister of England men’s right-back Reece, has also been called up and could make her debut.

“We have been following her for a long time. We have been following her since I came in and my former colleagues,” said Wiegman. “She didn’t play that much [last season], but she did play some. We know she’s a very talented player.

“She did work over the summer, she also had a very good preparation with Chelsea, played minutes, so I think we want to give her a chance to show what she can do with the national team.”

Sarina Wiegman still has three years remaining on her current contract with the FA

/ The FA via Getty Images

There was, however, no place in the 23-player group for former captain Steph Houghton, who was overlooked for the Euros too.

“As we spoke when we made the squad for the Euros, she worked so hard and she did whatever she had in her control to get back,” said Wiegman.

“At the end, we said she now needs rhythm but I can’t give her the rhythm. She needs rhythm to play, she needs a little more time.

“That actually didn’t change that much. She came in for the last game against Real Madrid and I just hope that she can play more consecutive games and get some football rhythm, and see where she is at.

“I’ll have the conversation with her. I had the conversation with her this week and I’ll have the conversation with her before we go into the next camp.”

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