Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy is desperate to convince Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford to switch his international allegiances.
The former Chelsea striker has two caps for England's Under-21 squad but is eligible to play for Ireland through his grandparents, and McCarthy has been doing all he can to convince Bamford to choose the Boys in Green.
McCarthy told the Irish Independent: “I have been chasing Patrick now for a long time. He wanted to meet me with his dad and I said fine; I’ll come and see you but then that got kiboshed [due to a rescheduled Leeds fixture]."
As it appears that the Ireland boss is growing frustrated and Bamford becomes increasingly elusive, McCarthy admitted: “I’ve been doing all the chasing. I think that it’s time – if he wants to play – he picks up the phone and gets hold of me or sends me a WhatsApp.
“He full well knows now that I’ve been doing my damnedest to meet him. And by the way, he is not playing for me, he is playing for Ireland. But I’ve got players who are playing, I’ll go and watch them, see them play.”
The chase for the 25-year-old comes two weeks after West Ham United's Declan Rice chose to represent the Three Lions instead of Ireland, despite making three senior appearances for the Boys in Green.
Bamford has established himself as a goalscorer at Championship level and won the Player of the Year award in 2014/15 during his time at Middlesbrough, scoring 17 goals in 38 games, while earning himself a parody twitter account for his wealthy background.
Now at Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds, the striker who chose football over a Harvard scholarship has scored two goals in four games since returning from a cruciate ligament injury and Mick McCarthy will hope to have secured Bamford's allegiance before the Euro 2020 qualifiers begin next month.