Republic of Ireland Under-21 manager Jim Crawford has confirmed that Rangers midfielder Charlie McCann has opted to switch his international eligibility to Northern Ireland.
Coventry-born McCann has played for the Republic’s Under-17s and Under-19s.
The 19-year-old has impressed for the Scottish club’s B team since joining from Manchester United in a deal worth a reported £750,000 last summer.
“I spoke to Charlie a few weeks ago,” said the Republic’s Under-21 boss.
Speaking to the League of Ireland Central Podcast, Crawford added: “It’s unfortunate that he’s looking now to go and play with Northern Ireland.
‘This was the danger of the 2002 group that haven’t been involved in international football for so long [because of the pandemic].
“I had to say to Charlie that you have to realise that we have Gavin Kilkenny, Conor Coventry, Ross Tierney, Dawson Devoy, Will Smallbone, these players that are all really talented players. Charlie is a very good player as well but unfortunately he didn’t get ahead of them.”
While McCann has opted for Northern Ireland, Dublin-born St Patrick’s Athletic winger Darragh Burns is in process of securing his international eligibility for the Republic having represented both countries at youth level.