Ireland set to lose the talented Michael Keane to nosey neighbours 8 years ago

Ireland set to lose the talented Michael Keane to nosey neighbours

Any hopes we had of yet another Keane distinguishing themselves in an Irish jersey are fading fast after Manchester United’s Michael Keane (above right) confirmed his intention to declare for England.

Michael Keane, 19 and his twin brother Will, surprisingly also 19, were born in Stockport in England, but their father hails from Dublin and it had been hoped that they might one day declare for the Boys in Green.

A couple of weeks back, we alerted you to the presence of Will on the bench for United’s clash against Blackburn. Will actually came on in that game but was unable to prevent a shocking 3-2 defeat for the Premier League champions.

Having represented England at under-16 and under-19 level, Will had already made it clear that he was Will Keane on representing the country of his birth, but Michael has played for Ireland at under-17, under-18 and under-19 level and the centre back is extremely highly-rated at Old Trafford, having impressed for the reserves this season.

Alas, it now seems as if he is to follow in his brother’s footsteps and go down the England route after revealing that he hopes to play for the England under-19s next month.

"I've just made a change," he told Inside United.

"Hopefully I'll be playing for England in February. The Under-19s have got a friendly against Czech Republic and I've been told that, hopefully, I'll be involved in that."

Until they play competitively at senior level for England, of course, they are still eligible to play for Ireland, but the prospect seems unlikely at this stage. I wonder what Joey Barton would have to say about it all?

[Image via EnglandFootballBlog.com]