England and Germany are intensifying their push over the international future of Bayern Munich Nigerian midfielder Jamal Musiala with the 17-year-old likely to have the choice of a call up by both countries for next month’s international matches.
Musiala is expected to sign a new long-term contract with Bayern on his 18th birthday in 10 days’ time, but his international future is still up in the air.
He has been capped twice already by England U21s, having played for the U15s, U16s and U17s too.
According to Sky Sports News Gareth Southgate has made it clear to Musiala he wants him to remain in the England fold.
But Germany head coach Joachim Low said last month he wants Musiala to play for the land of his birth.
“I think he knows one way or another that I want to nominate him….the ball’s in his court – it’s his decision.” Musiala has also played U17s football for Germany.
Now, new information obtained by Sky Sports News suggests it is likely Low will offer Musiala a senior Germany call up for the first time next month, whereas Southgate will continue to recommend the midfielder stay with England’s U21s, who are due to play their first games in the U21s Euro finals, which start in March in Hungary and Slovenia before concluding in June.
Separate discussions between Musiala and his family, and the English and German FAs are likely to happen in private.
It is unlikely England would offer Musiala a senior call-up at this stage – partly because there are so few matches between now and the summer Euros, so his opportunities to play would be more limited than with the U21s.
Crucially, a new rule introduced by FIFA at its congress in September allows any player under the age of 21 to switch their international allegiance – even if they have played up to three competitive senior games for another country (although not if it was a competitive game in a senior tournament final).
That means even if Southgate were to fast-track Musiala into making his senior England debut, he could still choose to represent Germany in the future.