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'They're checking his eligibility' - Ireland await news on Johansson after paperwork sent to Fifa

Mick McCarthy was asked about the Bayern Munich midfielder at today’s squad announcement.

Johansson in action for Bayern Munich against Tottenham during pre-season.
Johansson in action for Bayern Munich against Tottenham during pre-season.
Image: Imago/PA Images

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND manager Mick McCarthy has addressed the situation surrounding Bayern Munich youngster Ryan Johansson.

The 18-year-old has represented Ireland’s U19s, who he is eligible to play for through his mother’s family, while he has also lined out for his country of birth, Luxembourg, at U21 level.

His father is from Sweden, meaning the Swedish FA are interested in the player too.

Back in January, the teenager declared his commitment to Ireland. However, his international future was recently thrown into doubt as uncertainties over his eligibility emerged

Having lined out for Bayern Munich’s first team in pre-season, Johansson and the FAI submitted official paperwork for an international transfer to Fifa earlier this week, and they remain hopeful. 

McCarthy is unsure about when his future will become clearer though. 

They are checking his eligibility,” said McCarthy. “Unless he is eligible to play I don’t see any point [in talking], unless I find out he is.

“Until he is eligible, and I don’t know, then there is not really a story. If there is then I will go and watch him.

“If he is not eligible to play there is hardly any point in me making an issue of that. I can’t play him, I might as well go and watch Patrick Bamford. He doesn’t qualify either.”

McCarthy was at Salthill Devon FC in Galway today after the provisional 40-man Irish squad was announced ahead of their upcoming international fixtures.

Mick McCarthy McCarthy speaking in Salthill today. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Talented Spurs striker Troy Parrott was handed his first call-up alongside Doncaster’s Kieran Sadlier and Stoke City youngster Nathan Collins.

The League of Ireland’s sole representative is Shamrock Rovers midfielder Jack Byrne for the home clashes with Switzerland and Bulgaria on 5 and 10 September respectively.

New Crystal Palace midfielder James McCarthy has also been named in the initial squad, that will be cut to 23, having not featured for Republic of Ireland since they faced Moldova in 2016.

But Parrott’s inclusion is the most exciting following a pre-season where he featured in Tottenham’s starting 11, and on the back of a couple of prolific years at underage level for club and country.

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“I was interested to see bits of him in the pre-season games,” said McCarthy.

“I was even more interested that he wasn’t even involved with Tottenham on the first day of the season.

“If he is involved he might cause me a problem. If not he will go with Stephen Kenny to the U21s.

I have been happy with the strikers that have been playing. If he gets in in the next couple of games and plays it is going to cause me a problem and Stephen a problem.

“If he is playing with the first team then I certainly have to consider to have him in the final squad, and then to play him. But he is not there as of yet.

“If Troy gets in and he scores a couple of goals and he is brilliant for Spurs I will have a different thought process about that.”

About the author:

Daragh Small

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