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DR Congo to rival England for Wan-Bissaka

15:15 GMT+3 16/03/2019
Aaron Wan-Bissaka Crystal Palace 2018-19
The Crystal Palace full-back is yet to win a senior cap for the Three Lions, meaning he could switch his international allegiance

Aaron Wan-Bissaka is a man in demand as the Democratic Republic of Congo aim to convince him to play international football for them, rather than England.

The Crystal Palace defender has impressed in the Premier League and while he has already represented England at youth level, he is yet to win his first senior cap.

Gareth Southgate did not include the full-back in his squad for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Czech Republic and Montenegro, though the Three Lions boss is spoilt for choice with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker all available.

With his route to the England team potentially blocked by alternative options, DR Congo hope to tempt the 21-year-old to switch his international allegiance.

DR Congo manager Florent Ibenge has already attempted to make contact with Wan-Bissaka, who did not answer his call, and insists he will only select the player once he confirms his commitment to the African nation.

"It depends on him," Ibenge told The Independent.

"I sent my scout to watch him four months ago and he sent me a report. He played very well. I won't pick him for the squad, I want to speak with him first.

"I called him one month ago but he didn't answer. He has to want to accept the invitation and want to play for Congo, like [Yannick] Bolasie."

Wan-Bissaka came through the academy system at Palace and signed a new long-term contract with the Premier League club last April.

Despite the interest from DR Congo, however, he has previously expressed his desire to play for England.

"The England [U-21] call-up, I would say that one. I didn’t expect that," he said, as quoted by the Evening Standard.

"I was already in the Under-20’s, so I just thought I would be playing there. But, obviously, that [the U-21s] was the target, so now I have reached that goal, the next is to be in the seniors. Hopefully, that comes. That is the next target."

The defender is in the Palace starting XI for their FA Cup quarter-final meeting with Watford, with the Eagles aiming to reach the semi-finals of the competition for the second time in three years, having been beaten finalists in 2015-16.