Friday 15 December 2017

England eye starlet for Euro 2016 finals

Rafael, who played for Brazil during the London 2012 Olympics, has considered switching nationalities to English
Rafael, who played for Brazil during the London 2012 Olympics, has considered switching nationalities to English

Matt Law, London Daily Telegraph

ENGLAND have not given up hope of landing Manchester United wonderkid Adnan Januzaj, even though Kosovo were this week given the green light to form a national team.

It is understood the FA is still looking into whether there is any way Januzaj could represent England at the 2016 European Championship.

Aware that 18-year-old Januzaj is attracted to the idea of playing in the European Championship in France in two years, England are trying to find a way around the Home Nations agreement and Fifa residency rule.

If the FA can find a loophole or legal challenge that would allow Januzaj to play in Euro 2016, it is believed England could yet emerge as the attacking midfielder's preferred choice.

Arsenal and England midfielder Jack Wilshere expressed his concerns over Januzaj potentially becoming his international team-mate and there has already been plenty of debate on the issue.

United defender Rafael da Silva is believed to have considered trying to switch nationalities to England, but was put off by the controversy created by the FA's interest in Januzaj.

Belgium would provide Januzaj with the opportunity to play in Euro 2016 without having to get round residency rules, but the player's father Abedin has fallen out with coach Marc Wilmots.

Fifa have now given Kosovo permission to form an international team and start arranging friendlies, but they still cannot take part in competitive games and there seems little prospect of the fledgling state being involved in the 2016 European Championship finals.

Born in Brussels to Kosovar-Albanian parents, Januzaj is also eligible to play for Albania, Turkey and Serbia.

Meanwhile, United midfielder Anderson (25) will join Serie A outfit Fiorentina on loan for the remainder of the season. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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