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We will stop Lookman from playing for Eagles – England

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England manager Gareth Southgate is disturbed by reports that Nigeria have renewed their interest in Everton forward Ademola Lookman .
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 .

Nigeria 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 .

Lookman , who joined the Toffees from Charlton Athletic in a deal reportedly worth £ 11 m last year , has only featured for Everton once this season after coming in as a substitute in their 1 -1 draw with Huddersfield at Goodison Park on September 1 .

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The striker , who helped England win the 2017 FIFA U – 20 World Cup in South Korea , has endured a torrid run of form after he failed to force a move to Bundesliga side RB Leipzig , where he was on loan last season .

The winger , who was substituted by Aidy Boothroyd in the 2 -1 defeat of Latvia in their UEFA European U 21 Championship qualifier in Jelgava on Tuesday, is said to be disappointed .

Our correspondent learnt that the NFF has moved to capitalise on Lookman ’ s frustration by offering an opportunity to play for the Eagles .

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 20 s, 21 s, ” 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. ”

England Under -21 team manager Boothroyd , who insisted he knew nothing about the player ’ s intention to switch his allegiance to Nigeria , said he won’ t rule it out.
“He’ s very talented but when there ’ s a lot of speculation , it can get inside a player ’ s head, ” the young Three Lions manager was quoted by The Sun as saying on Thursday .

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But the spokesman for the NFF , Ademola Olajire , said he is not aware the federation is working to have Lookman in the Eagles.

“But it ’ s not impossible , ” Olajire added in his reply to the text message from our correspondent on Thursday .

“If he’ s eligible , and the coach finds him good enough there ’ s nothing wrong about it . ”

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