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Beaumelle hopes England’s Guehi opts for Ivory Coast allegiance


London (AFP) – Ivory Coast manager Patrice Beaumelle hopes England defender Marc Guehi could still choose to represent the African side.

Crystal Palace centre-back Guehi, who was born in Ivory Coast, impressed on his England debut in Saturday’s friendly victory against Switzerland.

The 21-year-old could win his second cap against the country of his birth in Tuesday’s friendly at Wembley.

Guehi has made huge progress since his £18 million ($23 million) move to Palace from Chelsea last year.

Given England’s lack of quality centre-backs, he is likely to be in contention for a place in their World Cup squad later this year.

But, as he has not yet appeared in a competitive international, Beaumelle knows he could still change his allegiance to the Ivory Coast.

“I have been following Marc for two years, since he was playing at Swansea,” Beaumelle told reporters on Monday.

“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.”

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