Tammy Abraham is reportedly ready to declare his intention to play for Nigeria.
The Chelsea striker, on loan at Swansea City this season, is rated as one of England’s brightest young talents.
The 19-year-old scored 26 goals in 48 appearances on loan at Bristol City last season and has played for England at various youth levels.
He was a key part of the Under-21 side at the recent European U-21 Championship and has netted three times in nine appearances for the Young Lions.
But the Camberwell-born youngster is now planning to switch his international allegiance to Nigeria, where both his parents hail from.
Nigeria Football Federation president Amaju Pinnick – a friend of Abraham’s dad – told The Sun: “I had a very honest and productive discussion with Tammy and his father last week.
“It’s been a long process but I can tell you authoritatively that he has agreed to play for Nigeria and not England.
“He and his parents have started the necessary documents to effect the switch. Clearly he understands he stands a better chance playing for the Super Eagles.
“With his talent he has the ability to fight for a place in the Nigeria squad, by God’s grace we make it to Russia, then he would contest for a chance to represent his fatherland.”
Costa transfer could be completed before Atletico clash
Diego Costa could be about to finalise a £57.2million transfer back to Atletico Madrid before Chelsea face them in the Champions League next Wednesday.
Respected Spanish radio station COPE claimed last night that a deal – worth an initial £48.4m, plus £8.8m in add-ons – has been agreed with the Blues and that Costa will be in Madrid by the weekend.
The two clubs have been in talks for several weeks over the 28-year-old Spain striker, who has made it clear he wants to rejoin Atletico.
Costa, who left the Spanish capital for Stamford Bridge in a £32m deal three years ago, has been AWOL in Brazil since mid-July and has refused Chelsea’s demands to return to training.
While Atletico are unable to register him officially until the transfer window reopens in January due to a FIFA ban, they want to buy Costa as soon as possible so he can start training properly again.
He last played a competitive fixture in June and has been doing basic drills on his own in Brazil for the last couple of months.
Chelsea have always been willing to sell Costa, with coach Antonio Conte informing him back in January that he would not be part of the squad this season. However, the club have maintained they would not sell the forward, who scored 52 League goals in three seasons, on the cheap, despite Costa putting them under pressure to do so with his off-field behaviour.
Atletico originally offered £25m in the summer and then £41m before the deadline shut last month but an agreement never materialised.
Significantly, Spain coach Julen Lopetegui stepped up the pressure on Costa yesterday to resolve his future in order to have any chance of being part of his plans for the World Cup finals in Russia next June.
Costa was left out of the last Spain squad because of his lack of regular football and will not be considered for the international fixtures next month.
Lopetegui said: “Costa’s summer has been unusual, strange, complicated – not just for him but for his club. He is still a Chelsea player. It’s a complicated issue.
“Our hope is that he will resolve his situation as soon as possible and that he can compete, train and play, which is what he likes doing the most and what interests the national team.
“It’s rather complicated that a guy who doesn’t train and doesn’t play can be with us, but that’s all it is. He wasn’t ready to play with us against Italy and Liechtenstein, that was the reality. That is the reason why he wasn’t with us. He needs to train and play in order to be considered.”
In Costa’s absence for Spain’s last two qualifiers, Lopetegui led his side to two easy wins.
The prospect of Costa being in Madrid for Chelsea’s Euro tie will provide an awkward distraction for Conte and the team. However, it does provide the perfect opportunity for the clubs to conclude negotiations.