Reid desperate for Republic return

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Republic of Ireland midfielder Andy Reid is desperate to win his place back in Giovanni Trapattoni's squad for the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers.

The talented Sunderland player first found himself out of the team under the Italian then dropped altogether, prompting a national debate in Ireland.

But Reid, 26, has not given up hope of a recall when Trapattoni names his squad later this month for the qualifier against Georgia in Dublin on February 11 and said: "I love playing for my country - I'd pay my own flight over there and everything to go over and play for Ireland."

He added: "I love playing for Ireland and I would never turn down the opportunity to play. I am always so, so proud to be asked to play for Ireland."

Reid's chances could be further diminished if Manchester City midfielder Stephen Ireland makes himself available for international duty again.

Trapattoni is adamant he has had no contact with the 22-year-old amid repeated speculation he is ready to end his self-imposed exile from international football.

However, the Italian, who has never drawn a line under Ireland's situation despite failing to persuade him to return after a face-to-face meeting within days of his appointment last year, is happy to listen to what he has to say.

He said: "We haven't heard from Stephen Ireland, but if he does want to declare himself available for his country, all he has to do is let us know himself through channels he is aware of."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Stephen Ireland
Manchester City
Andy Reid

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