Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland and England tussle over Magnay

By Stuart McKinley

Northern Ireland under-21 manager Steve Beaglehole has a battle on his hands in order to secure the services of Chelsea defender Carl Magnay.

The 19-year-old was last week named in the Northern Ireland under-21 squad for a friendly in Scotland a week today.

The defender won’t be making the trip from London to Glasgow for the game after all though.

He has opted to take his time in making a decision over where his international future may lie.

Magnay was born in Gateshead and Beaglehole received a tip-off that he qualifies for Northern Ireland through his Londonderry-born grandparents.

Now, however, England under-21 boss Stuart Pearce is tracking Magnay and he hopes that the carrot of competing in next summer’s European finals in Sweden will persuade the youngster to stick with the country of his birth.

Beaglehole has used the example of Newry-born Ryan McGivern in an attempt to win the fight for Magnay.

McGivern has three senior caps to his name since making a surprise debut in the friendly away to Scotland in August — in which he was sent-off.

The 18-year-old, however, has yet to even feature on the bench for Manchester City and is currently enjoying a loan spell with Morecambe in League Two.

Magnay joined Chelsea on a one-year contract two years ago after winning Sky TV’s Football Icon and was successful enough in that time to be handed a fresh 12-month deal at the start of the current season.

Belfast Telegraph

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