Football

Martin O'Neill Continues To Make Moves To Tie Up Potential Irish Internationals

Martin O'Neill Continues To Make Moves To Tie Up Potential Irish Internationals

Martin O'Neill has not ruled out the prospect of playing Southampton striker Michael Obafemi for Ireland against Denmark next week.

The Dublin-born teen has remained with Ireland's slimmed down squad for the upcoming internationals against Nothern Ireland and Denmark. Obafemi is also eligible for Nigeria through his parents and England through the residency rule. He has represented the Ireland u-19s in the past and came on for Southampton during their recent 1-1 draw against Watford.

Per RTE, O'Neill said that he would not rule out Obafemi playing some part in the Denmark game, which would seem him committed to Ireland.

I'd certainly have to have a discussion with him and I think members of his family too. Obviously, he has decisions to make for his future. I would think that's something he will discuss with his family. There'll be no real pressure to make that decision in the next couple of days.

If he has decisions to make then I'd respect that.

Speaking to Balls.ie last week, Nigerian sports journalist Oluwashina Okeleji explained Obafemi was not on Nigeria's radar.

"Obafemi's name only popped up [in Nigeria] early this year after he made his debut for Southampton," Okeleji revealed.

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"Everything heard and written about the player has emanated from Ireland."

It comes just a week after Martin O'Neill admitted Northern Ireland's interest in Jimmy Dunne was a factor in him being called into the provisional squad. The 21-year-old Drogheda man recently sat down with Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill and was then included in the Republic of Ireland provisional squad.

Michael O'Neill was quoted in the Belfast Telegraph as being highly amused at the turn of events.

We knew Jimmy had a grandparent from Northern Ireland. I had a conversation with Jimmy in Edinburgh, he lives 10 minutes away from me. I told him if it was something he wanted to explore then great but it's a massive decision and I told him I wouldn't expect him to make the decision lightly.

As a result of that he's got picked for the Republic of Ireland… so he owes me two cappuccinos. Seriously though, I'm delighted for him. To be called up after 15 minutes of U-21 football - he must have been very good in those 15 minutes.

SEE ALSO: Report: Brexit To Have Monumental Impact On Premier League Squads

Maurice Brosnan

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