International news

Super Eagles eye up City defender Onuoha

September 4, 2009

Nigeria are to again approach former England Under-21 captain Nedum Onuoha in a bid to persuade him to play for them after a recent change in FIFA rules, national coach Shaibu Amodu said on Friday.

Amodu told reporters ahead of Sunday's World Cup qualifier against group leaders Tunisia that a programme to tap up players with Nigerian roots would be launched in the next weeks.

"We have sent word to Nedum to see if he will be interested," Amodu said. "We will get new players but first we have to qualify (for the World Cup finals)."

Manchester City defender Onuoha is eligible to represent Nigeria because he has dual nationality and has not won a full cap for England. World governing body FIFA voted in June to remove the age limit on changing national teams.

Nigeria's initial approach to Onuoha two years ago was turned down.

Other potential targets for Nigeria include Newcastle United striker Shola Ameobi, who has also been capped at Under-21 level by England, and Dennis Aogo from Hamburg in Germany's Bundesliga.

Both Onuoha and Ameobi were born in Nigeria but Aogo is German-born with a Nigerian father. He was a member of Germany's winning team at the recent European Under-21 championships in Finland.