ENGLAND has stepped up efforts to secure the services of RB Leipzig striker Ademola Lookman over the last few days after the player indicated that he may be willing to switch his allegiance to Nigeria at senior international level.
Lookman, 21, who just signed a five year deal with Bundesliga side Leipzig, making permanent his switch from Everton, has dual nationality, so can play for both England and Nigeria. He has previously featured for several England youth teams and was a member of the English U-20 team that won the 2017 Fifa World Cup.
Now highly rated and bought from Everton for £22.5m, Lookman recently said he would consider switching his allegiance to Nigeria to enable him feature for the Super eagles. However, England manager Gareth Southgate, who managed Lookman at youth level, is expected to travel to Germany over the course of the season to woo the player.
Lookman had originally asked for time to consider his future when he was contacted by the Nigeria Football Federation ( NFF) at a meeting with Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr. Wary of how the likes of Victor Moses, Alex Iwobi and Ola Aina made similar switches to Nigeria, the English FA have decided fight for Lookman.
English officials have concluded plans to check on Lookman in Germany regularly and also reassure him that he is in the plans Mr Southgate. Nigeria too is not resting on its laurels with Mr Rohr set to visit Germany before the end of the month for another round of talks with Lookman who visited Nigeria during the off season as part of his holiday.
English FA officials are aware of the fact that Moses, Aina and Iwobi had all played for England youth teams before switching to Nigeria. However, the likes of Dele Alli and Tammy Abraham opted to shun Nigeria and play for England.