Fulham defender Stephen Kelly has hit out at speculation that Damien Duff may return to international football, particularly that emanating from Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni.
Ahead of the Boys in Green's clash with Germany at the Aviva Stadium, the 28-year-old full back said that it was 'ridiculous' that the speculation has been 'dragged on for no reason' by the media and the management.
"Every interview I do, people keep asking me about it and it's more coming from the fact that the manager's talking about it," Kelly told the Sunday Independent.
"As far as I'm concerned, Damien's retired. He's a really good friend of mine and he's made the decision for himself and for his family."
He continued: "I think it's strange that they keep going on about it. Not the media. The media keep going on about it because the manager's talking about it. I think it's strange that the manager and staff keep bringing it up.
"If they have any private conversations with Damien just leave it at that. I think it should be nipped in the bud. The speculation is ridiculous and it's been dragged on for no reason."
Kelly added his opinion that if Duff was to make a return to the Ireland fold, he would do it in a quiet manner, rather than stirring media speculation.
He said: "If Damien is going to come back, he's not going to make a big song and dance about it, that's not him but you can see he's happy with his decision.
"He will do it if he thinks it's right and at the moment obviously he doesn't think it is," concluded the defender.