Friday 27 April 2018

Trapattoni dismisses Blackburn links as Clifford gets call-up

Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI has dismissed speculation that he has applied for the vacant position as manager of Blackburn.

Internet reports in England suggested that Ireland's manager had put forward his name to replace Steve Kean as boss of the Championship club.

"I'm not aware of it," said Trapattoni. "It must be agent chit-chat. I'm not interested anyway. I'm concentrating on the task in hand."

Trapattoni's contract with the FAI expires when Irish interest in World Cup 2014 ends, and the 73-year-old relocating from his Milan base to work in the Championship appeared far-fetched before he definitively put an end to the speculation.

Former Ireland captain Roy Keane is on a long list of names interested in the post.

Meanwhile, Trapattoni has called Conor Clifford into his squad for the double-header with Germany and the Faroe Islands.

Clifford (right) is back in the reserves at Chelsea after League One side Portsmouth opted against extending his initial one-month loan period. The midfielder was a last minute addition to the senior squad for August's friendly with Croatia, but has fallen out of favour with U-21 manager Noel King, who was unhappy when Clifford pulled out of his squad for last month's European Championship qualifier. The player has been frustrated with his lack of game-time at that level.

Trapattoni has clearly kept him in his thoughts, although Wes Hoolahan is unlikely to be pleased.

While Clifford is a more defensive-minded player, Hoolahan was given a late call for August's friendly in Serbia only for injury to intervene.

Hoolahan impressed for Norwich at Chelsea last weekend, but must now worry that his chance is gone. He won his only senior cap under Trapattoni back in 2008.

Irish Independent

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