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Mick McCarthy confirms Patrick Bamford's intent on playing for Ireland

The Irish manager has still yet to meet the Leeds forward, however.

Bamford celebrates scoring in Leeds' win against West Brom last week.
Bamford celebrates scoring in Leeds' win against West Brom last week.
Image: Nick Potts

LEEDS UNITED FORWARD Patrick Bamford has indicated to Mick McCarthy he is interested in swapping his international allegiances to Ireland. 

Having played once at U18 level for Ireland, Bamford went on to play for England at U18, U19, and U21 level but has not gone on to make a senior appearance, meaning he is still eligible to represent a country for which he qualifies through his maternal grandparents.

McCarthy revealed last week that he has been trying to meet Bamford but had yet to do so. The pair have since spoken: after Leeds’ 4-0 win against West Brom, in which Bamford scored twice.

“My last contact with him was on Saturday morning”, McCarthy told the media at the announcing of the first squad of his second spell in charge.

“I congratulated him on his goals and asked him if he wanted to join us. He said yes and I’m hoping to meet him ASAP.

“I asked him the question, ‘Is it the same, do you still want to join us?’ and he said ‘Yes’, so it’s a matter of meeting him and just having a chat with him. I’ve stressed to him that if he wants to be involved in [qualifiers against Denmark and Gibraltar in] June, we have to get it done as quickly as possible.” 

While McCarthy is eager to get the situation finalised, he is not setting Bamford a deadline.

“No, I’ve just tried to get a date to meet him. I’m going to try and meet him before we go into camp for Gibraltar, but that’s not me setting him a deadline. 

Elsewhere, McCarthy is yet to hear from Nathan Redmond, while Ipswich’s Will Keane is not yet eligible to play, although he has confirmed he will make the change.

McCarthy also confirmed that this may not be the end of his foraging for Irish-eligible players born outside of the country.

“England have done it. They’ve chased one of our players and they’ve took him. So it’s not only us doing it. Surely it’s my job here to have the best team possible of players who qualify, and that’s what I’ll continue to do.”

He also believes that any potential recruits will not have a negative impact on the dressing room.

“Not at all. No. I’ve been in the dressing room when it’s happened, and I’ve actually walked into the dressing room and taken somebody’s place who was born in Ireland.

“I’ve never seen any trouble with it at all.” 

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Gavin Cooney

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