Lewis Holtby, the German Under-21 midfielder who is eligible to play for England, said yesterday he would be open to a conversation with Fabio Capello but it is understood he has no intention of changing his mind and turning his back on Germany.
Holtby gave a radio interview in which he appeared to reopen the possibility of playing for England but sources close to the player say that such an interpretation would be inaccurate. Furthermore, Capello is not minded to pick the player in his squad for the Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro, the only realistic way in which he could head off Germany's claim over the player.
Holtby, the Germany Under-21 captain, has an English father and a German mother and, because he has not yet played for either country at senior level, could still choose between the two. Capello is understood not to be interested in Holtby. The player is expected to be named in Joachim Löw's squad for the Euro 2012 qualifiers against Turkey and Kazakhstan next month. Failing that, the friendly against Sweden in November.
In an interview with Talk Sport, Holtby said: "There was always a chance to talk [to Capello] and to listen about [sic] things." He added that "England and Germany own 50 per cent of my heart and I really love both countries". He said on German television on Sunday that he had decided to commit himself to Germany, having played for the country of his birth at junior levels. It is not anticipated he will change his mind. He added: "I would definitely listen to [Capello]. There is always a chance for a conversation. There is always a chance to talk and to listen about things. I would never say no to a conversation. England and Germany own 50 per cent of my heart and I really love both countries and I pay respect to all of them and especially to a great guy like Capello – he's a legend in the sport of football.
"There are some really good players coming up and English football has a bright future. As I haven't played for the A team for Germany it's all open but I'd like to play for Germany. I would be delighted if the coach would nominate [sic] me for the next games or the future but you never know, in football anything is possible.
"It's not like moving from one club to another, it's playing for a country and you can't really play for two countries, you've got to be proud of yourself and you have to thank the country you started with, and that's the main thing in my head."
Holtby, who added that he'd always supported England "because of my dad", said: "It's the decision of the high [up] guys of the English Football Association. There's a lot of British talent and really good footballers in England, so it would be difficult for me to settle in because I'm half-and-half and especially the rivalry between England and Germany is very high [sic] so it would be a bit strange."Reuse content