England head coach Fabio Capello has claimed that Manchester United veteran Paul Scholes initially agreed to come out of retirement to feature at the World Cup finals, before changing his mind.
The 35-year-old Red Devils midfield maestro has not featured for his country since Euro 2004, but was tempted to try his luck in South Africa, before opting against a return to England duty.
Capello told ITV: "Franco Baldini spoke with him in the evening and he said yes. In the morning he said no, because he preferred to stay at home.
"He said he is too old to play more games and in more competitions. He prefers to be okay for Manchester United."
Scholes had previously told the Oldham Evening Chronicle: "I wasn't given enough time to think about it, it's a big decision. If they'd asked me earlier, I probably would have accepted.
"That's why I probably said no, not just because he had given me a couple of hours to think about it, but the fact I needed a bit more time.
"I am not saying it definitely would have been yes in that case, but I think it might have been. I did not expect it the call. It wasn't even on my mind."