Mick McCarthy: I Contacted Patrick On Saturday, He Still Wants To Join Us
Ireland manager Mick McCarthy has stressed that Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford is still keen to join up with the Boys in Green during his first squad announcement on Thursday.
Bamford has been linked with an international transfer to Ireland having represented England at U21 level but was not included in McCarthy’s squad for their Euro 2020 qualifiers against Gibraltar and Georgia.
McCarthy outlined that despite not having the paperwork in motion just yet, the new Irish boss had recently been in contact with the Leeds striker, who starred in their 4-0 demolition of West Brom on Friday night, and stressed that Bamford still wants to join.
“My last contact with him was Saturday morning after he scored for Leeds. I just congratulated him on his goals, that one-two at the edge of the box was a sublime finish, I just asked him if he still wanted to join us he said yes and I’m hoping to meet him.
“If he does declare for us it has got to be June because he’s too late for March. I’ve made that clear to him. I want to meet him ASAP.
“I asked him if he still wants to join and yes was the answer and so then it’s just a matter of meeting up and having a chat with him. I stressed to him that if he wants to be involved in June we’ll have to get it done as quickly as possible.”
Bamford would be an excellent addition to an Irish squad that is seriously lacking in firepower however an issue may arise should the situation continue to drag-out, in a similar fashion to the Declan Rice saga.
McCarthy outlined that he hadn’t given Bamford a deadline per se, but he would be very keen to get the Leeds United man on board as soon as possible.
“I hope to go and see Patrick Bamford before we got to Gibraltar but that’s not me setting a deadline. I’d be delighted if we meet up and he really wants to play. He’s a really talented player.”
A notable inclusion is Luton Town striker James Collins who receives his first international call up at 28 following his excellent form in League One with Luton Town, while Sheffield United’s David McGoldrick is given a recall alongside Sunderland’s Aiden McGeady.
Newport County’s FA Cup hero Padraig Amond is also a surprise inclusion in the provisional 38-man squad.
Will Keane is another player who, like Bamford is eligible for Ireland through the granny rule, but McCarthy outlined that he has yet to finalise his paperwork.
Ireland begin their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign away from home against Gibraltar on Saturday, March 22nd before Georgia visit the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday, March 26th.