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Aston Villa and Ireland defender Richard Dunne is considering his international future, and has approached club manager Paul Lambert for advice

After playing 76 international games and scoring 8 goals for the Republic of Ireland national team since 2000, defender Richard Dunne is now considering retiring from international football.

32-year-old Dunne was one of the oldest players in Giovanni Trapattoni's squad at Euro 2012, and feels that now may be the time to step aside and focus on his club career with Aston Villa. Dunne spoke about the decision yesterday, adding that he went to club manager Paul Lambert for advice on his future.

However, Dunne admiteed that he will have to think long and hard before he makes any final decisions. "It has crossed my mind a few times," Dunne said. "It's easy after a tournament, the way it has gone, to make a rash decision and say 'that's it'.

"But I just have to think about things. I was basically waiting to get back into training with Villa and then have a think, see how I feel. It's a hard decision, because it is something I love doing, and I had a chat with Paul Lambert about it and asked him about it."

The Aston Villa boss did not put pressure on the veteran defender, preferring that Dunne make up his own mind. "He said it has to be down to me because if I'm not happy with the decision and I regret it, then it's no good," Dunne revealed. "I've already spent four weeks thinking about it and still can't decide."

Dunne has been left out of Ireland's August friendly with Serbia, but if he chooses to stay available for Ireland, he is likely to start against Kazakhstan in World Cup qualifying in September.