Ivory Coast boss hopes England defender Marc Guehi switches allegiance

Ivory Coast manager Patrice Beaumelle claims he has not given up hope that England newcomer Marc Guehi could yet turn out for his side.

Crystal Palace defender Guehi, who was born in Ivory Coast, impressed on debut for Gareth Southgate’s side in Saturday’s friendly victory over Switzerland.

The 21-year-old, a former Chelsea youth player, could now win his second cap against the country of his birth at Wembley on Tuesday.

Guehi has made huge progress since his £18million move to Palace last summer having previously enjoyed two loan spells at Swansea.

He is now likely to be in the reckoning for a place in Southgate’s World Cup squad this winter but, as he has not yet appeared in a competitive international, he could still change his allegiance.

Speaking ahead of Tuesday’s friendly against England, Beaumelle told reporters: “I have been following Marc for two years, since he was playing at Swansea.

“I know he can still choose Ivory Coast so we are working on that. I tried to contact him several weeks ago before his decision.

“When I saw him in the English lists I understood that at the moment he wants to try with the Three Lions.

“Since he went to Crystal Palace he has improved a lot and could be an option. But the choice has to come from the heart. He will make his own decision.

“He did well in his first cap for England but maybe we will try for the orange jersey of Ivory Coast – you never know.

“I will wait a few weeks and try to contact him to know if he is interested.”

Another member of Beaumelle’s squad, Guehi’s Palace team-mate Wilfried Zaha, has previously switched his allegiance from England.

Over the weekend the Ivorian Football Federation published a picture of Beaumelle meeting with brothers Karamoko and Siriki Dembele, of Celtic and Bournemouth respectively. This has led to suggestions they too could be tempted to play international football with Ivory Coast. Both would be eligible through their parents.

Published: by Radio NewsHub