Manchester United winger Adnan Januzaj is a step closer to turning his back on Belgium after both Marc Wilmots and his father hinted at his preference to play for Kosovo.
Kosovo were voted in as a member nation of UEFA this week – and they have Januzaj in their sights.
The midfielder qualifies for Kosovo and can still commit himself to the new UEFA member, despite being capped six times by Belgium, thanks to a FIFA loophole. Januzaj can choose Kosovo as he played for Belgium when the former were not a UEFA member.
Last month Belgium manager Marc Wilmots spoke about the possibility of Januzaj declaring for Kosovo.
“Two years ago I asked him to choose with his heart and he came with us,” Wilmots said.
“If he changes his mind now and he feels that it’s better to go elsewhere, I’ll take note of it.
“I won’t be able to do anything else in any case.”
Januzaj’s father has also been highly-critical of the Belgium FA in the past and the lack of opportunities his son has had with the national side is also reportedly something that irks Januzaj senior.
And the player’s lack of first-team opportunities at Manchester United this season (the player returned early from a loan with Borussia Dortmund in December, where his attitude was heavily criticised) means he’s doubtful of making their squad for Euro 2016 – making a chance of allegiance even more likely. In his defence, the player has been struggling with a hamstring strain he sustained playing for their Under-21s side in early February.
Granit Xhaka (Borussia Mönchengladbach) and Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City) can also play for Kosovo, but are unlikely to walk away from Switzerland.