Lyon defender Jeremy Morel has approached Madagascar coach Nicolas Dupuis, availing himself to represent the Indian Ocean Islanders.
Eligible to play for Madagascar through his Malagasy father, left-back Morel could finally launch his international career at the age of 34.
Frenchmen Dupuis revealed that he received a call from Morel two weeks ago just before the 1-0 home win over Equatorial Guinea that earned Madagascar a berth at Cameroon 2019.
“He called me…He proposed himself very simply,” Dupuis was quoted as saying by Lequipe.
"Very clearly, he’s the one who called me. Very clearly, I did not pick him up. I had no idea that Jeremy could be Malagasy.
“He offered himself very simply saying, ‘Coach, you will soon qualify (for Afcon), I do not want to take anyone’s place, but know that I am of Malagasy origin. I would be very proud to wear the jersey from Madagascar.’ It was good because I was looking for a professional defender who could complete the group."
With Dupuis confirming that he is searching for a professional defender, Morel could be handed his Madagascar debut next month against Sudan at home.
In March this year, Madagascar approached the Reunion-born duo of former France youth international and Angers goalkeeper Zacharie Boucher as well as Strasbourg forward Ludovic Ajorque, who could both be tempted by the prospect of playing at the Afcon tournament.