The reports all say the 32-year-old has reacted well to the latest approach from Fabio Capello.
This is promising, not least because of John Terry’s questionable form since news of his affair with Wayne Bridge’s girlfriend broke in February, and because there are still doubts about the fitness of Rio Ferdinand and Ledley King.
Injury problems for Joleon Lescott and Phil Jagielka, ongoing concerns about Matthew Upson’s ability to play at the highest level, and the inexperience of Michael Dawson all contribute to a growing central defence crisis for England.
So it should be good news that Carragher may come back nearly three years after quitting international football, right?
He has after all spurned previous approaches, apparently even cancelling meetings to discuss the possibility of a return.
The fact that the two sides are talking should therefore be taken as a positive sign.
True, but I have some unanswered questions.
Carragher gave up playing for England because of a lack of first team opportunities in central defence and his dislike of the jack of all trades role previous managers gave him.
Negotiations are now underway because, according to one source, “Carragher does not want to be regarded as someone who has piggybacked on to England’s campaign or is undeserving of inclusion. He is sensitive to a supporters’ backlash.” (The Daily Telegraph)
Coming back would represent a remarkable volte face for someone renowned for his forthright opinions.
What guarantees has Carragher been given that a) he will have a first team place b) this place won’t be at full back c) the supporters’ backlash he is worried about won’t happen?
I suspect the answer to all of these questions is – none at all, because Capello doesn’t give players such guarantees. He wants them to be hungry.
This is where Carragher comes in. His long career at Liverpool may be over in a year or two. Only a change in ownership and money to spend will prevent next season becoming a mirror image of the disappointing one which is now drawing to a close. A local lad, Carragher will feel the pain of another trophy-less campaign more than most of his team mates.
Of course the player may simply be responding to a genuine call for help. Others may see one of Anfield’s veterans contemplating a return to the international fold because he sees glory on foreign fields as his last chance.