Hull City forward Will Keane set to declare for Republic of Ireland

Bayern Munich midfielder Ryan Johansson informs FAI he wants to play for Ireland

The FAI has initiated the process of Hull City forward Will Keane declaring for the Republic of Ireland. Photograph:     Ashley Allen/Getty Images

The FAI has initiated the process of Hull City forward Will Keane declaring for the Republic of Ireland. Photograph: Ashley Allen/Getty Images

 

The FAI has confirmed that it has initiated the process of Hull City attacker Will Keane declaring for the Republic of Ireland.

The 26-year-old, who is currently on loan at Ipswich Town, started his career at Manchester United was previously capped at just about every underage level by England. He was part of that country’s title-winning squad at the Under-17 European Championship in 2010, a group that included the likes of Ross Barkley, Conor Coady and Connor Wickham.

Keane made a couple of first-team appearances for United and a string of loan spells away before signing for Hull in 2016. His twin brother, Michael, plays for Everton and has five senior caps for England, having originally started his international career with Ireland.

Bayern Munich midfielder Ryan Johansson has, meanwhile, informed the FAI that he wants to represent Ireland in the long term. The 17-year-old, who was born in Luxembourg to a mother from Mullingar, also qualifies for Sweden through his father and has played for all three at one stage or another.

Bayern Munich’s Ryan Johansson comes on for Rafinha during the International Champions Cup match against Paris Saint-Germain at the Worthersee Stadium in Klagenfurt, Austria in July. Photograph: Jure MakovecAFP/Getty Images
Bayern Munich’s Ryan Johansson comes on for Rafinha during the International Champions Cup match against Paris Saint-Germain at the Worthersee Stadium in Klagenfurt, Austria in July. Photograph: Jure MakovecAFP/Getty Images

He has only played competitive games for Luxembourg, though, and so remains entitled to make a binding switch.

Johansson is well regarded and featured in a handful of pre-season friendlies for the senior team last summer. Since then, he has been something of a regular in the Bavarian club’s Under-19 team. He will not be ineligible for Ireland’s under-19s until next season.

The FAI has also confirmed that, after exploring his family ties, Sheffield United defender Jack O’Connell does not qualify to declare for Ireland. Mick McCarthy had expressed an interest in the 24-year-old from Liverpool as part of his campaign to broaden his options before naming the first squad of his second stint in charge at the start of March.

The Ireland manager will hope to have Declan Rice firmly on board by then with the 20-year-old due to announce his decision on who to represent at any time.

Strikers Patrick Bamford of Leeds United and Nathan Redmond of Southampton have also been identified as targets.

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