The Football Association have warned Premier League clubs not to expect any favours when Gareth Southgate names his first England squad since November next week.
Sportsmail revealed on Wednesday that the England manager would contact his players amid burn-out fears from top-flight clubs regarding their stars ahead of confirming his party to face Iceland and Denmark at the start of September.
Following consultation with clubs, Southgate will explore the option of either resting or managing player involvement on a case-by-case basis ahead of international football’s long-awaited return next month.
But while Southgate is determined to select the strongest possible squad given this will be the first time he has seen his players collectively since November, England staff are aware of the fatigue factor ahead of Nations League fixtures.
Players from the Manchester clubs — City and United — could be at higher risk of injury caused by tiredness given their seasons only ended last week due to their involvement in European competition.
Indeed, City and United medics will appeal to their counterparts with England to go easy on certain players during the forthcoming international games.
Sportsmail also understands some players believe it may be more beneficial to remain with their clubs to prepare for the new season.
Southgate will name bigger than usual squads over the coming months to help ease the workload on players during what will be a truncated season ahead of the rearranged Euro 2020 next summer.
Nevertheless, FA chief executive Mark Bullingham insists the international window should come as no surprise to Premier League clubs because they had a role in confirming the calendar and reiterated the importance of the Nations League fixtures to Southgate’s overall blueprint.
In response to a question about player welfare, Bullingham said: ‘The calendar was put together by UEFA in conjunction with the European Club Association and the European leagues.
‘Obviously the calendar included time for the domestic leagues to finish by the end of July.
‘It included time for club football to take place in August and it has always included the September international window as it is. So I don’t think it should come as any surprise to anyone that the window will carry on.
‘We have to keep an eye on the football that will go ahead but, from our point of view, international football is a key part of the calendar and this is important.
‘The number of games is an ongoing issue that we all have to resolve together.
‘But we view international football as being important and the Nations League as being important.
‘We’ve got a brilliant opportunity to get international football going again — club football has got going again.
‘We’ve got two big tournaments coming up in the next two years so the Nations League will provide a really good training environment for that.’