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The on-loan Stoke City midfielder controversially shunned international football six years ago but is considering a return depending on who the new Republic of Ireland manager

Stephen Ireland has hinted that he would like to make a return to international football with the Republic of Ireland.

The 27-year-old, who scored four times in six appearances for the Boys in Green, has not been involved in international football for six years.

The midfielder controversially withdrew from a squad ahead of a European Championship clash against Czech Republic in September 2007, later revealing that he lied about the death of his grandmothers, and has been in exile since.

However, the Cork native said that he hoped his previous dealings with the national team could remain in the past, suggesting that he would like to return to international football after the departure of Giovanni Trapattoni.

"I would like to think so," he told reporters. "It was my decision to leave and it's probably going to be my decision to go back if the manager asks, whoever they appoint.

"But first and foremost it's about my club and we'll have a conversation further down the line if they ever want me to go back. It all depends who the new manager is. It's a long time away yet, I think.

"I think I would like to get together and have a chat and try to put everything on the table, put across ideas and just have a good general chat.

"If nothing comes out of it, nothing comes out of it, but I think it would be nice just to have a chat."

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