Paul Dummett: Newcastle say defender 'has not retired' from Wales permanently

Paul Dummett
Paul Dummett helped Newcastle United win the 2016-17 Championship title

Defender Paul Dummett's decision not to play for Wales is only temporary, according to his club Newcastle United.

The 25-year-old has made himself unavailable for June's World Cup qualifier in Serbia.

But a Newcastle United statement said the left-back has withdrawn to concentrate on his fitness.

"Dummett... has not closed the door on his international career and hopes to represent the Dragons again in the future," read the statement.

"The left-back won't be involved in next month's World Cup qualifier in Serbia... but has not retired from international football altogether.

"After a gruelling campaign with the Magpies, in which he played through the pain barrier on several occasions, 25-year-old Dummett is keen to recharge his batteries and spend time with his family and friends in order to ensure he is at peak form and fitness for his hometown team's return to the Premier League.

"He has been supported in his decision by Newcastle boss Rafa Benítez."

Dummett, who is yet to play in a competitive international, has won two caps, both in friendly matches against the Netherlands.

"He doesn't want to play international football, which is a disappointment from our point of view," Wales manager Chris Coleman said on Thursday after announcing his squad to face Serbia.

"But he's made that decision, and we have to abide by that."

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Wales are third in World Cup qualifying group D, four points behind leaders Serbia.

They travel to Serbia for their next qualifier on Sunday, 11 June after naming a youthful pre-match training camp that included Exeter's 16-year-old Ethan Ampadu.

Coleman added: "We'll get on with the squad of players, the squad who want to play and represent Wales.

"There's nothing we can do with Paul, who's decided that international football is not the path he wants to go down."

Newcastle-born Dummett was included in a pre-Euro 2016 training camp but was not selected in the squad for the tournament in France. He has not featured at all during the current World Cup qualifying campaign.

"Sometimes you have to be patient especially because the team we have at the moment has been hugely successful," Coleman added.

"It's a shame because he's a good player. I haven't spoken to Paul. His agent rang me up to give me the news.

"I was disappointed, but if he doesn't want to persevere with it then that's his choice. We've got to look after the players who want to play for us."