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Man City's Hart, Milner to play in UAE before gathering with England

England boss Roy Hodgson admits he cannot stop two of Manchester City's stars from being present at a friendly in the United Arab Emirates later this month.

The Three Lions manager has sent a letter to all English clubs regarding the availability of their players for a May 19 training camp in Portugal which will occur exactly seven days after he announces his provisional World Cup squad.

However, City have a May 15 friendly in the UAE meaning goalkeeper Joe Hart and midfielder James Milner will likely be on club duties just days before having to travel back to Europe to link up with the national team.

Hodgson said: "I sent out a letter on FA paper to the clubs, giving them our programme and asking them to be aware that my intention was that, from the last game of the season, the players should be totally free until we meet up.

"That's what we would like. But the bottom line is that we have no control over it. I've done what I can do.

"I think it best that they have a week away from football at the end of the season, to relax and clear their minds so that from May 19 they can settle down and put a lot of thought and a lot of focus and physicality into trying to win the World Cup.

"But if the clubs say 'we're not interested in that, we want to do something else', then there's nothing I can do about it."

City will take on UAE Pro-League champions Al-Ain in 'the Garden City' at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium on May 15. Al-Ain's squad consists of Ghanaian star and former Sunderland striker Asamoah Gyan, Arabian ace Omar Abdulrahman who has previously trialled with City, Belgian forward Yassine El Ghanassy and Australian striker Alex Brosque.

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