Martin O'Neill steps up interest in Birmingham striker - Everything you need to know about Lukas Jutkiewicz
Martin O'Neill will step up his interest in Birmingham striker Lukas Jutkiewicz in the new year, according to reports.
English-born Jutkiewicz also qualifies to play for Poland and England and is eligible to represent O'Neill's Ireland through his Irish-born grandmother.
According to Paul Lennon in today's Irish Daily Star, O'Neill sees Jutkiewicz as a good fit in his Irish squad following the international retirement of Robbie Keane and the reluctance of Brentford's Scott Hogan to commit to the Boys In Green.
At the age of 27, Jutkiewicz - who completed his permanent move from Burnley to Birmingham earlier this week - has played for a number of clubs and has scored six goals in 17 games for Birmingham this season.
Just who is Lukas Jutkiewicz?
BORN: Southampton, England
DOB: March 28, 1989
PREVIOUS CLUBS: Swindon, Everton, Plymouth (loan), Huddersfield (loan), Motherwell (loan), Coventry, Middlesbrough (loan), Bolton (loan), Burnley
QUALIFIES FOR...Ireland, England and Poland.
WHAT HE SAID:
Poland is Jutkiewicz's first choice, certainly if these quotes from 2012 are anything to go by.
“My Polish link comes from my grandfather, who sadly passed away last week. He was born in Vilnius, which is now in Lithuania, but at the time it was part of Poland and he was a Polish citizen.
“I don’t really know what the situation with the Polish squad is at the moment. It would be amazing to be involved in something like that.
“If I bang in a few goals before the end of the season then you’ll never know, but obviously my immediate focus is here. But if they (Poland) are aware of the possibility then that would be amazing.
“Basically, it comes down to whoever asks first.
“Everyone wants to play international football. It would be a massive honour if Poland asked, but I’ve got to put in the performances at Middlesbrough first.”