Ademola Lookman is one of the players Southgate is keeping close tabs on as he believes the talent could graduate to the senior team, and the 48-year-old says they will fight to keep the player.
On the other hand, Super eagles coach Gernot Rohr is looking for a player to provide the Super Eagles’ attack with the cutting edge, following the retirement of Chelsea star Victor Moses from the team, coupled with Odion Ighalo and Alex Iwobi’s poor form in recent times.
Rohr and the Nigeria Football Federation reportedly failed to convince 20-year-old London-born Lookman to switch his international allegiance to Nigeria and play for the Eagles at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Despite representing England at the Under-19 and Under-20 levels, the player is still eligible to represent Nigeria where his parents were born as has yet to be capped by the English senior team.
But the Three Lions boss Southgate said they would do everything to stop the player from representing Nigeria.
“I know every country is quite aggressive in their recruiting and I know they have always had an interest in him, but he is playing and has been in our squads, the 20s, 21s,” the former Middlesbrough star told The Mirror on Thursday.
“So in terms of encouragement through game time, we are doing as much as we possibly can.”
But spokesman for the NFF Ademola Olajire said he is not aware the federation is working to have Lookman in the Eagles. He told Punch Nigeria;
“But it’s not impossible,”
“If he’s eligible, and the coach finds him good enough there’s nothing wrong about it.”