Cape Town - Liverpool are reportedly not happy that Joe Gomez has been put in an uncomfortable situation in the England camp after a bust-up with Raheem Sterling.
Having clashed towards the end of Liverpool's 3-1 win against fellow Premier League title challengers Manchester City on Sunday, a still simmering Sterling was involved in a fracas with Gomez at St George's Park the following day.
The incident took onlookers aback and the 24-year-old Sterling admitted "emotions got the better of me" in a late-night social media post that followed the Football Association confirming the forward would sit out the Montenegro qualifier.
Sterling stayed with the group and apologised to team-mates at a meeting on Monday night, then trained as usual the following morning. Gomez appeared to be sporting a cut close to his right eye in the session.
And the Athletic claims that 'Liverpool are also thought to be angry that Gomez has been put in this situation through no fault of his own.'
In the aftermath, Southgate remained tight-lipped on Gomez's cut - one of the numerous queries he batted away at the hastily organised press conference.
"Raheem in his post last night explained for a very brief moment his emotions ran over," Southgate said. "It would be correct to say that's not the same for Joe.
"We are dealing with a very young squad in a sport where emotions often run high. These things happen in football. My priority is always the care and wellbeing of all my players. All my players.
"Then you have a decision to make as to whether there needs to be something further, which is my reasoning for not selecting Raheem for the game on Thursday."
- TeamTalk Media