Recovered: England’s Danny Welbeck is back in training. *AFP photo
Recovered: England’s Danny Welbeck is back in training. *AFP photo

England are concerned about the the state of the pitch in Manaus as they gear up for tomorrow’s much-anticipated match with Italy in Group D.

Roy Hodgson has reportedly sent a scout to the ground to run the rule over the surface.

And according to BBC Sport, the head groundsman has admitted the pitch is not looking good.

“Frankly, Manaus is in bad shape,” said Carlos Botella. “The maintenance has been complicated. There are no roads. All the machinery and materials had to be brought by ship. There was no fertilizer and no seeds.

“Now we have put fertilizer down. We will increase the fertilizing process with biostimulants and seeds to try to get the most out of the grass.”

Meanwhile, Wayne Rooney has hit back at former Manchester United team-mate Paul Scholes’ verdict that the striker was past his peak.

“I’m sure he’s upset a lot of people at United because they see me as worthy of signing a new deal,” Rooney told a press conference.

“They have obviously got a different opinion to Paul but you will have to ask him about that.”

He added: “He’s been a great player at Manchester United but I’ve never had his phone number and he’s never had mine.”

Rooney also revealed that team-mate Danny Welbeck will be fit and raring to go for the Italy match despite limping out of training earlier in the week.

Welbeck, a favourite of Hodgson’s, is widely expected to start.

Rooney said: “Danny will be fine. He’ll be ready for Saturday. 

“He’s not risked anything in training today so he’ll train on Friday and he’ll be available for Saturday, I’m sure.” 

Fabregas signs for Chelsea

Chelsea have signed midfielder Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona on a five-year deal.

The 27-year-old former Arsenal favourite told the Chelsea club website: “I do feel that I have unfinished business in the Premier League and now is the right time to return.

“I considered all the other offers very carefully and I firmly believe that Chelsea is the best choice. 

“They match my footballing ambitions with their hunger and desire to win trophies.”

He added: “Everyone knows that Arsenal had the first option to sign me.

“They decided not to take this option and therefore it wasn’t meant to be. I wish them well in the future.”