England are in danger of losing another of their best prospects with the news that Nigeria are trying to convince Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham to play for them.
Abraham is being tipped to have a prolonged career at the highest level after scoring 26 goals on loan at Bristol City this season.
Having already represented England Under-18s and Under-19s, the forward has played six times for the Under-21s this term, scoring twice.
But Abraham, who is set to hold talks with Chelsea over a new contract that will see his wages doubled to £50,000-a-week, can still opt to play for another country until he plays a competitive game for England’s senior team.
His fellow graduate from Chelsea’s Academy, Ola Aina, has already agreed to represent Nigeria despite having played for England’s junior teams.
In a more high profile case, England lost Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha to the Ivory Coast last year even though he’d played for the senior team in a friendly.
Abraham’s parents are both Nigerian and the spokesman for their national team, Ademola Olajire, has confirmed that Abraham is now a target.
He said: “The coach (Salisu Yusuf) does not want to take any chances, so he has a list of players he would be relying on to play the matches. The Nigerian football federation has secured a Nigerian passport for Ola Aina. We are working on that of Tammy Abraham and others.
“We want the best players in the national team, so we are not taking any chances at all.”
Abraham has rejected their advances in the past and he is not considering the latest approach.
But Nigeria are refusing to take no for an answer and will continue to pursue him until he plays a competitive game for England.