Portsmouth’s Marcus Harness signals intent to declare for Ireland

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Portsmouth’s new signing Marcus Harness has confirmed that he intends to declare for the Republic of Ireland.

The Coventry-born winger moved from Burton Albion last week for an undisclosed fee and is now looking to nail down his international future, having secured his club future.

Ireland manager Mick McCarthy is ready to follow-up with the player by sending his scouts to watch Harness again in the coming weeks.

The 23-year-old came up through the Burton academy and scored six goals in 23 games last season, mostly from a right wing position.

McCarthy said: “Terry Connor and myself both saw Marcus play with Burton last season and we will have him watched again when the season kicks-off next weekend and see how he gets on.”

“He has told us he wants to play for Ireland and we will follow through on that now and help him sort the paperwork from his side.”

It may be too soon for Harness to feature in the Euro 2020 qualifier against Switzerland and the friendly with Bulgaria, but McCarthy has been watching Troy Parrott after the 17-year-old striker set up a goal on his debut for Spurs, as they beat Juventus 3-2 in a friendly on Sunday.

Former Irish defender Richard Dunne reckons the time is right to fast-track Parrott into the senior international set-up.

Dunne told the Irish Examiner: “I think looking purely from a fan’s side of things, it’s a position that we’re lacking in.

“We want more goals in the team. If we’ve got someone in and around a Premier League side, there’s the opportunity to involve him in the senior team.

“I’m sure Mick (McCarthy) and Robbie (Keane) will have watched him an awful lot more than I have and will have a better idea of what level his development is at. I just think if you look at what Wales did a few years ago, they just threw in a load of young kids and then did really well.”

“They started to get them to develop them into first-team players. So it could be an opportunity if he comes and plays for Ireland and does well.

“We can’t wait forever for kids to become first-team regulars before they play for Ireland — if they’re nearly first-team squad members at Premier League clubs, they won’t be a million miles off our first team.”

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