Sunday 25 June 2017

Tardelli hints at senior bow for McCarthy amid fears of Ireland U-turn

Neil Ahern

IRELAND's assistant manager Marco Tardelli has hinted that Wigan midfielder James McCarthy could be included in the Ireland squad to face Brazil next month, in the wake of speculation that the youngster considered a switch of allegiances to Scotland.

The Italian (below) was tight-lipped over possible new faces for Giovanni Trapattoni's squad, which is to be announced on February 22 ahead of the friendly at the Emirates Stadium on March 2.

But he did earmark Everton's Seamus Coleman, Greg Cunningham of Manchester City and particularly McCarthy as players that have caught his eye in recent weeks while also expressing the need to bring fresh faces into the squad.

"We have many new names, Cunningham, Coleman and McCarthy. We need those players to go forward," said the World Cup winner.

"I think we needed to find the new Irish players, maybe McCarthy, maybe Cunningham, (Keith) Treacy is a very good player.

"I don't think (McCarthy will switch to Scotland), he plays with the U-21s, I don't know why some papers say this."

The Italian also revealed that neither he nor Trapattoni have spoken to any possible players now eligible to play for Ireland after FIFA's rule changes last year with regard to international allegiances, some of which include Jamie O'Hara, Kyle Naughton and Kevin Nolan.

"We have many players who play with Scotland and England but I don't know if they want to come with Ireland. Maybe it's possible.

"O'Hara is a player who is possible to play but he is English, he plays with the U-21s with England. I don't know if he wants to come here."

Tardelli also expressed his confidence that Trapattoni will stay on as Ireland boss for the remaining two years of his contract despite recurring rumours over his future, the latest of which linked him to the vacant position at Juventus.

"From what I know yes (Trapattoni will stay for another two years)," he said.

Irish Independent

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