Mick McCarthy has recruited Will Keane to play for the Republic of Ireland
The Republic of Ireland will have a new striker soon.
The Football Association of Ireland have stated on their website that English-born forward Will Keane "wants to represent" the country.
Mick McCarthy was at Portman Road on Saturday afternoon to watch the striker in action for Ipswich Town.
Keane, currently on loan at the club from Hull City, scored a last-minute equaliser in a 1-1 draw against Stoke City.
GOAL! WILL Keane 1-1 #ITFC #SCFC #HCFC pic.twitter.com/gwBGQUqVKv
— The Tractor Boys (@TTBITFC) February 16, 2019
Following the game, the Ireland manager praised the striker's performance.
"Will took his goal well at a time when Ipswich really needed it. So his timing was good all round today," McCarthy said.
"I was impressed again with Alan Judge as well. Alan was very unfortunate with the injury he picked up when playing at Ipswich with Brentford and I am delighted to see him back to his best.
"The fact that James McClean scored the opening goal of the game for Stoke was a bonus as well."
According to reports, Keane has started the Fifa process to switch his registration from England to Ireland.
However, it could take months for him to receive the clearance to play for McCarthy's team and it may not be completed by the time Ireland open their Euro 2020 qualification campaign against Gibraltar on March 23.
Keane was born in Stockport and has played for England at every underage level from under-16s to the under-21 side, representing the country 33-times. He is eligible to play for Ireland through his Irish-born father.
The 26-year-old's twin brother Michael plays for Everton and made five appearances for England at senior level. Michael also played for Ireland at under-17 and under-19 levels.
Keane was highly rated as a young player with Manchester United but only ended up making three senior appearances with the club.
He has had loan spells with Wigan Athletic, Queens Park Rangers, Sheffield Wednesday and Preston North End. In 2016, he left Man United on a permanent deal when he signed for Hull.
In January, Keane joined Championship strugglers Ipswich on loan. The striker's career has been stalled by two serious knee injuries and he has yet to reach a century of senior games.
Until recently, he had played for more clubs (seven) than he had scored goals at senior level. On Saturday, he scored the eighth goal of his senior career.
However, McCarthy evidently sees centre-forward as a problem position and it appears Keane will be part of the Ireland squad over the coming months.
"The ball is rolling with that. I spoke to Mick McCarthy a few weeks back and he said he'd like me to declare," the striker said, confirming the FAI's interest in him.
That is something I have been looking at for a while. I heard I might be on the radar when I was at Hull but things are moving forward now and hopefully I will be available in the next few months."