Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy has admitted that he is no longer going to try to persuade Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford to play for him.
McCarthy replaced Martin O’Neill in charge of the Republic of Ireland in November and has been trying to convince Bamford to play for the national team for months now.
The Leeds striker was born in England, but qualifies for the Republic of Ireland through the grandparent rule.
Bamford made one appearance for the Republic of Ireland Under-18s, but would then switch allegiance and go on to represent England at a number of youth levels.
The 25-year-old scored ten goals in all competitions for Leeds last season, as Marcelo Bielsa’s side just missed out on promotion from the Championship.
With Bamford firmly focused on winning promotion with Leeds last season, McCarthy failed to convince the striker to play for him and former Ipswich manager admitted in March that he expected to have a chat with the striker in the summer.
However, the Republic of Ireland boss has now admitted that he is no longer going to chase Bamford, but he has left the door open for the player to make his own decision on his international future.
“I’m not going chasing him anymore. It was left on the back-burner and I think it’s up to Patrick,” said McCarthy, as quoted by the Yorkshire Evening Post.
“If he rings me up and he wants to play then yes. But let me ask you a question. If you’re an Irish player and you thought you were good enough to play for Ireland, what would you do?
“Would you pick the phone up? That’s what I did. If he wants to play he’s got to.”
Bamford is unlikely to get his chance for England, so perhaps he should consider making the switch to the Republic of Ireland, if he wants to make an impact on the international stage.
McCarthy is clearly a big fan of Bamford and has made no secret of how he wants the striker to play for him, so it is a good thing for Bamford that he has left the door open for him to change his mind.