Giovanni Trapattoni to persuade Norwich midfielder Anthony Pilkington to declare for Ireland - report

The Canaries midfielder is thought to be considering his options at senior international level as he is eligible for both Ireland and England
Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni is set to persuade Norwich City midfielder Anthony Pilkington that his senior international future lies with the Boys in Green, according to a report in the Sunday Times.

The 24-year-old Canaries midfielder was born in England but has represented Ireland once at under-21 level, appearing against Lithuania in 2008. However, he has yet to make a senior international appearance for Trapattoni's team.

Ahead of Ireland's friendly against Greece in November, the Italian tactician revealed that Pilkington was not available for the Irish team and stressed that the onus lay with the winger to make his intentions known, as speculation mounted that he was holding out for an England call up.

"I sent SMS but at this moment we have to ask as we need to make the passport," Trapattoni told reporters. "We have doubt situation. He has good quality but we need time.

"Until now he must answer us. It’s not the first time. There is no contact, he is not our player," he added.

However, according to the Sunday Times, the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) has since endeavoured to speed up the process, with goalkeeping coach Alan Kelly said to be assisting Pilkington with passport issues.

Speaking about the issue, Norwich City manager Chris Hughton, who played 53 times for Ireland, described the talk surrounding Pilkington's international future as 'irrelevant'.

"That is irrelevant because at this moment he hasn't had that opportunity (to play for Ireland)," he told the Sunday Times. "If he has the opportunity or a decision to make that would be based on the fact that he is playing very well."

Republic of Ireland international Kevin Kilbane, meanwhile, believes that Pilkington has been overlooked by Trapattoni 'for too long' and must be capped competitively.

"He has been overlooked for too long," said the former Everton midfielder. "There is still that possibility he could play for England and that decision should be taken away from him by giving him a run out in a competitive game."

Winger Pilkington joined Norwich City from Huddersfield Town in 2011 and has scored two goals in 12 appearances this season thus far.