Southgate is allowed to make changes to his squad up until Uefa’s June 1 deadline and rather than name an initial 26 at this stage, he will instead name a larger group - reportedly of at least 30 players - which will then be whittled down.
The move means Southgate will now not name his final squad until after the Champions League and Europa League finals, where a huge number of England stars are set to feature for Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United.
As well as those in European finals action, the Three Lions boss has injury concerns over several key players, most notably Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson and Man United defender Harry Maguire, who both saw their club seasons curtailed by injury.
Henderson returned as an unused substitute in Liverpool’s final day win over Crystal Palace on Sunday, while Maguire has travelled to Gdansk for United’s Europa League final against Villarreal but is a major doubt.
The delay will give both players extra time to prove their fitness before Southgate makes any final decisions, with the likes of Kalvin Phillips and Nick Pope also carrying injury problems. Leeds United said on Monday that Phillips would be fit, despite suffering a shoulder injury late in Sunday’s win over West Brom, while Pope is to undergo minor knee surgery.
The likes of Declan Rice and Jack Grealish have recently returned from injury to feature for West Ham and Aston Villa, but are still short of match sharpness.
While June 1 is the deadline to name a final squad, managers are allowed to replace players suffering serious injury or illness up until their first game of the tournament, which in England’s case comes against Croatia on June 13.