Nigel Worthington is battling to land a second young star from under the noses of England.
Ipswich Town’s £8million-rated teenage sensation Connor Wickham is the latest target for the Northern Ireland boss after blooding Manchester United’s ‘new Beckham’, Oliver Norwood, in Montenegro last Wednesday.
Like Norwood, striker Wickham qualifies qualify under the parentage rule. And Worthy is determined to go down every avenue left open after Republic chiefs were given the go-ahead to poach his best young players.
Worthy, desperate to find a striker as his side have gone seven games without a goal, has set his sights on 17-year-old Wickham, wanted by Tottenham during the close season.
England Under-17 international Wickham’s father Stefan hails from here.
Worthy says: “The question has been asked about Connor Wickham. There’s potential there, we have done our homework and offered him the opportunity to further his international career with Northern Ireland.
“Hopefully, he will follow young Norwood and throw in his lot with a squad he can help go places.”
For the full story, see this week's Sunday Life.