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Washington is in line for NI call

By Stuart McKinley

Potential Northern Ireland international Conor Washington has landed a £2.8m move to Queens Park Rangers. And the 23-year-old striker could even make his international debut against Wales in March after the Irish FA confirmed that Michael O'Neill's team will play a pre-Euro 2016 friendly in Cardiff.

O'Neill has been tracking Washington since discovering he qualifies for Northern Ireland through an Ulster-born grandparent.

Washington's 15 goals for Peterborough in League One this season brought him to the attention of a number of clubs, but QPR were first in to hand him a three-year contract.

Washington's move will also benefit a former Northern Ireland striker. His former club Newport County, now managed by Warren Feeney, will pocket £560,000 after agreeing a 20 per cent sell-on clause when he joined Posh in the summer of 2014.

Northern Ireland will now play two friendlies across the Easter weekend, facing Wales on Thursday, March 24 before meeting Slovenia at Windsor Park on Monday, March 28.

O'Neill said: "This game against an excellent Wales team will be a good test for us as we build towards the Euros.

"We are going to have to stop the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Mesut Ozil and those types of players in the finals so facing Gareth Bale is a good benchmark to how we do that as a team."

Meanwhile, Bristol City are keeping a close eye on developments with Northern Ireland striker Kyle Lafferty, who hopes to secure a move away from Norwich City during this month's transfer window.

A move to Leeds United has stalled, but the Robins are currently in limbo after sacking manager Steve Cotterill.

Caretaker boss John Pemberton said: "One of the players I spoke to is desperate to play in the Euros, so we are talking about a good player."

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