Kosovo 'in talks' with Manchester United striker Adnan Januzaj over using him in friendly with Haiti
The Manchester United midfielder could qualify to represent England in 2017 under Fifa's residency rule
Tuesday 18 February 2014
The Kosovan Football Association (FKK) is hoping to persuade the Manchester United winger Adnan Januzaj to play for Kosovo in next month's inaugural friendly with Haiti, although the 19-year-old would still be eligible to represent England in the future if he accepts.
Reports claimed that the Balkan state's Deputy Prime Minister, Behgjet Pacolli, had issued a personal plea to the midfielder to take part in the match in Mitrovica on 5 March, which will be Kosovo's first since being granted permission to play friendlies by Fifa last month. Pacolli is thought to have made contact with Januzaj's father Abedin – born in Albania but part of the Kosovan liberation movement in his homeland.
"The invitation to him is symbolic but we believe that he is obliged to show his people that he will be there when needed in a historic moment," the FKK's general secretary, Eroll Salihu, said. "We should have an answer by the end of this week and Januzaj's appearance would simply show that he has not forgotten his people, even he can play only for 10 or 15 minutes. It is a friendly and would not have an effect on him being able to play for another country in the future."
However, Januzaj's agent Dirk de Vries denied that any talks had taken place and said that his client was "only concentrating on Manchester United".
Januzaj was born in Belgium and is also eligible to play for Albania. Having moved to Manchester United from Anderlecht in 2011, he could qualify for England by 2017 under the five-year residency rule.
Manager Roy Hodgson said last week that he would leave any decision over whether to approach Januzaj to the Football Association board. Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 but is not a member of the United Nations.
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