MX23RW : Monday, September 28 10:56:57| >> :120:77892:77892:

Mark Sykes 'planning to switch allegiance to Republic of Ireland'

Mark Sykes 'planning to switch allegiance to Republic of Ireland'
© Reuters
The Oxford midfielder was included in three Northern Ireland squads but did not make his senior debut.

Oxford midfielder Mark Sykes plans to switch his allegiance from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland, the PA news agency understands.

Skyes, 23, was included in three Northern Ireland squads by former manager Michael O'Neill but did not make his senior debut.

The former Glenavon player earned 11 Northern Ireland under-21 caps under O'Neill's successor Ian Baraclough, but has now told the Irish Football Association he does not wish to be selected again.

The IFA is understood to be disappointed by the decision but will not be making a comment.

The news comes a day before Baraclough is due to name his Northern Ireland squad for his first games in charge – away to Romania and at home to Norway in the Nations League next month. Republic boss Stephen Kenny will also name his squad for games against Bulgaria and Finland on Monday.

Sykes earned his first Northern Ireland call-up in May 2019 and was back in the squad for games against Luxembourg and Germany in September.

He was also in the squad for the Euro 2020 qualifying play-off semi-final against Bosnia-Herzegovina when it was named by O'Neill in March, though that fixture was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic and is now due to be played in October.

The Belfast-born Sykes impressed as a teenager with Glenavon before joining Oxford in January 2019, helping them to the League One play-off final last season and scoring in their 2-1 defeat to Wycombe at Wembley last month.

ID:411331:

Click here for more stories about Mark Sykes

Click here for more stories about Oxford United

Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Ian Baraclough pictured in May 2015
Read Next:
Ian Baraclough insists Northern Ireland will take Nations League seriously
>
Latest Sports Video
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free daily transfer newsletter! Sent twice a day during the transfer window.

rhs 2.0
Tables

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!