England are reportedly ‘ducking’ out of a friendly match with France in the build-up to Euro 2020.
The World champions are attempting to try and secure games against good quality sides ahead of next summer’s tournament.
But French publication L’Equipe report a host of European nations are refusing to play Didier Deschamps’ men due to the ‘psychological effect’ a defeat could have on their players in the lead up to the tournament.
Roberto Martinez has pulled Belgium out of a friendly to take on France in March over fears it could damage confidence ahead of the event.
A defeat to France could potentially see Belgium be leapfrogged by Les Blues at the top of the FIFA world rankings.
An unnamed reportedly said: “Other nations are in the same mindset.
“They say that losing to France would not be the best way to begin their preparation for the Euros.
“England, for example, would prefer to face Italy during this period.”
The FA have already confirmed the Three Lions will play four friendlies prior to the Euros.
They take on Denmark at Wembley on 31 March, four days after their first warm-up match on home turf.
England will face their 2018 World Cup semi-final conquerors Croatia in the group phase of Euro 2020.
Croatia beat England 2-1 after extra-time to deny Gareth Southgate’s team a place in the World Cup final, and they will meet at Wembley on June 14.
England will also take on the Czech Republic, who beat them in qualifying for this tournament.
Their third opponent will be the winners of play-off path C, which includes Scotland. The other possible opponents from that path are Israel, Norway and Serbia. The outcome of the play-offs will not be known until the end of March next year.