Januzaj could opt for England after row over Belgium call-up
Man United starlet will choose the Three Lions after family fall-out with Belgian coach
ROY HODGSON has no shortage of selection dilemmas ahead of next year’s World Cup in Brazil, but the England manager could be faced with yet another after the tournament if the latest rumours surrounding Man United wonderkid Adnan Januzaj prove to be correct.
The Daily Mail today announces that the Belgian-born teenager of Albanian-Kosovan descent wants to play for England, but only if the FA can "overcome the obstacle of the five-year residency rule".
Debate has raged over the 18-year-old's eligibility since he arrived on the scene with two goals on his full United debut two weeks ago. So far he has rejected overtures from Belgium, but he is also eligible to play for Albania, Turkey or Serbia.
The Mail says that Januzaj would like to represent Kosovo, which declared itself independent in 2008, but does not yet have full Fifa membership. So if Januzaj wants to play meaningful international football he will have to choose another nation.
"England manager Roy Hodgson and FA chairman Greg Dyke have spoken of their desire to at least look at the possibility of recruiting Januzaj and that could begin with an application for a British passport and a possible legal challenge to the current residency rules," says the Mail.
The Mail explains that Januzaj has been in the country for two years – he joined United as a 16-year-old – and will have to wait at least three more years before he can become eligible.
England's cause may have been helped by a row between Januzaj's father and Belgium coach Marc Wilmots. It has been claimed that the teenager's father Abedin wanted assurances that his son would be part of the Belgium team if he opted to play for them.
But Wilmots said he would not "haggle" over his selection. "Show me your skills and if I need you I will call. I make no promises," he said.
That prompted an “angry” Abedin Januzaj to call Wilmots "shameless", says Sky Sports. ·