Wednesday 29 March 2017

Trapattonito include McClean

DION FANNING

James McClean is expected to be named in the Ireland squad this week with the FAI "optimistic" they will have received clearance from FIFA for the Derry-born player by the time Giovanni Trapattoni names his squad on Friday.

McClean netted Sunderland's winner against Stoke yesterday and Trapattoni is keen on including him in the panel to face the Czech Republic on February 29 while the FAI know that, despite qualification for the European Championships, his presence would increase the attendance.

The paperwork for the Derry-born winger was dispatched to FIFA last week. The ruling body has one legal representative who assesses these cases but the FAI believe it will be dealt with this week and do not expect any problems.

While Trapattoni is expected to stick with the players who earned qualification, he is believed to be eager to establish if some players, such as McClean, can come through and provide capable back-up.

With no other friendly until May 26, the Czech game will provide the only genuine chance for a player to make an impression. Trapattoni could name McClean in the squad, which he will announce in Waterford on Friday, even if the paperwork hasn't been cleared by FIFA in anticipation of it being received before the friendly.

McClean has shown an ability to take his chances during his staggering rise under Martin O'Neill. Trapattoni went to see him against Chelsea and he is known to be impressed.

Meanwhile, the organisers of the Dublin Super Cup are expected to meet with Manchester United this week in the hope of persuading them to play in the competition at the end of July.

The FAI signed a new deal with Iconic Worldwide Events after Endemol ended their participation. The new organisers want to abandon the idea of a League of Ireland XI and invite either Shamrock Rovers or Sligo Rovers to take part.

Last year's event involving Manchester City, Celtic, Inter Milan and an Airtricity XI was poorly attended and left Endemol, who paid significant sums to the teams involved, out of pocket. The FAI receive their money up front and do not depend on a share of the gate.

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