England manager Fabio Capello has left the door open for Owen Hargreaves to return to the international fold claiming in the midfielder returns to full fitness he could be considered for a call up.

The new Manchester City man has signed a one-year deal at the Etihad Stadium after being released by Manchester United, but made his last appearance for his country over three years ago.

However Capello says if fit, Hargreaves can be considered for selection.

"I hope he will be fit," said Capello.

"He was an important player for England. When he played, he played really well. After the knee problems he didn't play for two years.

"I hope that it will be really good in the short-term for Manchester City and for him.

"But after two years he hasn't played and we need to wait."


Hargreaves' move to City on transfer deadline day raised plenty of eyebrows, not least because the Canadian born 30-year-old saw constant knee problems restrict him to just 39 appearances for Manchester United in his four-year Old Trafford spell.

However, new club team mate Joleon Lescott echoes Capello's sentiments and believes once back fit Hargreaves can make a genuine contribution for club and country.

"He's experienced the Champions League, international (football)," he said.

"He's a great professional so it can only be good for the club.

"The club know what they're doing and Owen knows what he's doing. He's still a good player.

"Obviously he hasn't played as much as he'd like over the last couple of seasons. But if we can get him fit I'm sure it won't be long before he's back to his best."

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