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In the dark

NOTHING doing! Marco Tardelli has admitted that Jamie O' Hara's international intentions remain a mystery to the Irish management team.

In fact, Tradelli has conceded that neither he nor Giovanni Trapattoni have learned more about the position of any dual-qualified players since Fifa changed eligibility rules, begging the question -- what have they been up to for the last three months?

In the vacuum created since Paris, Trapattoni has been the subject of a string of speculative stories linking him with Turkey, Juventus and now Nigeria.

While the Italian media made mischief, most Irish fans believed that Trapattoni and his assistant Tardelli have been too busy chasing down the half dozen or so players, who can now choose Ireland, to pay any serious attention to newspaper headlines.

An FAI spokesman had no comment to offer other than to confirm that player recruitment is within the remit of Giovanni Trapattoni and his management team and that it is likely that work is under way in the background.

But Tardelli's comments, made at the launch of Dublin as the 2010 European Capital of Sport, suggested otherwise.

"There are many players who have played with Scotland and England but I don't know whether they want to come and play with Ireland," he said.

"Maybe, it's possible. Jamie O'Hara is a player who it is possible could play for us but he has played for the English under-21s, I don't know if he wants to come here."

However, Trapattoni sees plenty of new talent emerging in the Premier League and it is likely that progress made by James McCarthy, Seamus Coleman and Greg Cunningham will be rewarded by senior selection in the near future.

"I think we need to go forward and now we need to find the new players," added Tardelli. "We have Cunningham, Coleman and McCarthy. Many players."

Tardelli gave Robbie Keane's move to Paradise his seal of approval.

"It's important for us that Robbie Keane plays," he said. "At Celtic it's possible for him to be playing and be in good condition for matches. Also, I'm very happy that Leon Best has gone to Newcastle to play, that's important for us."


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