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Raheem Sterling set for decision on World Cup return ahead of France clash

Raheem Sterling will decide whether he will return to Qatar (Martin Rickett/PA)
Raheem Sterling will decide whether he will return to Qatar (Martin Rickett/PA)

Raheem Sterling is set to decide whether he will return to Qatar ahead of England’s World Cup quarter-final against France, the PA news agency understands.

The 27-year-old forward did not feature in Sunday’s last-16 win against Senegal due to concern over his family’s wellbeing after a break-in at his home in Surrey.

Sterling returned to the UK and is believed to be willing to travel back to Qatar as long as he is assured of his family’s safety, with additional security measures being worked through.

Sterling (right) missed England's win over Qatar
Sterling (right) missed England’s win over Qatar (Martin Rickett/PA)

The FA did not provide an update on Wednesday but it is understood the governing body has been given the green light to look at the logistics of his possible return to the team’s camp.

Surrey Police issued a statement earlier on Wednesday morning saying they were working to establish whether the arrest of two men on Tuesday night in an area close to where Sterling lives had any connection to the burglary at his home, which was reported on Saturday.

However, an update on Wednesday afternoon said “at this time” the arrests were not being linked to the break-in at Sterling’s house.

“Two men were arrested on suspicion of attempted burglary last night (December 6) in the Oxshott area. They are currently in custody,” the new statement read.

“Following reports of suspicious activity around 6.40pm, a number of resources were deployed, including the dog unit and police helicopter. Our colleagues from British Transport Police also provided assistance.

“At this time these arrests are not being linked to an ongoing investigation into a burglary which received significant media coverage over the weekend. That separate investigation remains ongoing and as of 12pm on Wednesday December 7 no arrests have been made in connection with that.

“Officers are carrying out enquiries into the circumstances and the investigation remains ongoing.”

The Football Association announced on Sunday that Sterling was unavailable for the match against Senegal because he was dealing with a family matter.

Sources close to the player initially indicated armed intruders had broken into his home while his family were inside, but subsequent police statements said the occupants of the house had reported items missing after returning to the family home from an international trip.

Police said on Monday they were working to establish precisely when the break-in took place, and also offered assurances to the local public that no witness statements had been made regarding the involvement of armed suspects or threats of violence.