Football Ghana are still hoping to field England’s Hudson-Odoi at the World Cup

ACCRA: Ghana are still hoping to convince England striker Callum Hudson-Odoi to switch international allegiance and play for them at the World Cup in Qatar, sources told Reuters on Monday

But hopes of convincing Eddie Nketiah, another English-born player of Ghanaian origin, have been abandoned by the Ghana FA, the source close to the negotiations added.

“He (Nketiah) has not committed but Hudson-Odoi could be added as he is still working with the GFA,” said the source, who asked not to be identified.

Ghana have already added former England Under-21 international Tariq Lamptey and former Spain international Inaki Williams to their finals plans, both of whom made their friendly debuts last month.

Ghana have reached out to the diaspora to persuade players previously crowned by other countries to change and strengthen their squad for the World Cup, where they will face Portugal, South Korea and Uruguay in Group H.

The 21-year-old Hudson-Odoi, on loan from Chelsea to Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga, would be a huge coup for the Black Stars if they could enlist his services.

He has represented England at all levels from under 16 and won three senior caps in 2019.

Under FIFA international eligibility rules, Hudson-Odoi could still join Ghana as he has only won three caps and was under 21 when he last played for England.

He played against the Czech Republic, Montenegro and Kosovo in the 2019 European Championship qualifiers.

Players who have played senior matches for a country cannot change nationality if they have won more than three caps and were over 21 at the time of their last cap.

Despite not signing for Ghana, Hudson-Odoi could be included in the squad as he is still committed to the GFA

London-born Nketiah, 23, has played for England at Under-21 level and has been involved in all of Arsenal’s Premier League games this season as they have set the pace at the top.

Africa’s five World Cup representatives have been looking to strengthen their squads and Cameroon have convinced former France Under-21 international Bryan Mbeumo to play for them.

The Brentford forward made his debut for Cameroon last month and is expected to lead the attack in the finals.

(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Ken Ferris)