Martin O'Neill states he has approached Scott Hogan about representing Ireland
The Irish-qualified striker has been on the radar for Premier League clubs after a great start to the season13:25 Friday 23 September 2016, 13:25 23 Sep 2016
After starting the season with a fantastic scoring run, Scott Hogan has found himself in the media spotlight and attracting the attentions of the Irish set-up.
Hogan's run in the team this season for Brentford has seen him score six goals in his last six games, and has already started to attract interest from Premier League sides who want to add some fire-power to their front lines, including Swansea City.
With the traditional shunting of the January transfer window into the 'open' position just around the corner, Hogan will have plenty of decisions to make, but the choice of which international side to represent may also be one of them.
Given that three of Hogan's grandparents are Irish, the striker qualifies to represent the Republic of Ireland, and with the recent retirement of Robbie Keane from international football, there is a void to be filled up front for Martin O'Neill.
Image: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne
Speaking at a press conference to name the squads on Friday, ahead of the games against Moldova and Georgia in early October, O'Neill told Off the Ball's Nathan Murphy that he had already reached out to the player about possibly pulling on the green jersey.
"I have spoken to his agent and I think that he has got a very open mind," said O'Neill. "Remember, he's been out a very long time as well too; he's just come back at the back end of last season and the beginning of this season, and he does have a program to continue his rehabilitation from injury.
"According to the agent he was interested and also delighted that we were showing an interest, but of course, like everything else, he has a number of options. But I've seen him a number of times now, and he is an exceptionally good goal scorer."
Asked whether he was wary of making too much of Hogan's connection to Ireland, given what happened with Jack Grealish, O'Neill added that it was not going to be a case of once bitten, twice shy.
"These things are always up to the player, and that was exactly the case with young Grealish.
"I think the person has got a right to make his own decisions. Of course, he wasn't born in this country, and the conversations have never got that far. But he's one that a number of people, clubs and countries, are monitoring.
"I wouldn't have made contact with him if I hadn't intended on showing an interest," added O'Neill.
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