Bournemouth midfielder Philip Billing’s agent may have engineered interest from Nigeria in order to raise the player’s stock in Denmark, Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr has told ESPN.
Billing — who was born to a Nigerian father — has represented Denmark at cadet level and was first called up to the senior national side in March 2019, but is yet to make an appearance for Kasper Hjulmand’s side.
Reports emerged in May that Nigeria had made an approach for the Cherries midfielder with a view to snatching him out from under the noses of the Danes.
The 23-year-old quickly squashed those reports, reaffirming his commitment to Denmark, and said that Rohr had contacted him to discuss a Super Eagles switch but that he wasn’t interested.cheap nike nfl jerseys china
Billing told Danish news outlet BT: “It would be strange to stand up for Nigeria when I feel 100 percent Danish.
“Of course, I have Nigerian roots and I am half Nigerian, but I was raised and born in Denmark.
“[Rohr] just said he really wanted me to play for Nigeria because the upcoming World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations will be played soon.
“I made it pretty clear to him that I wanted to play for Denmark. That’s my big dream.”
But Rohr, who recently inked a new deal with the African giants, disputed this, telling ESPN that Billing’s agent was the one who made the first overture.nfl nike jersey cheap
Rohr said: “Billing’s agent called me and he said that he is interested to come to Nigeria because he is not playing so much in Denmark.
“So he wanted me to call [Billing]. I said I don’t have his number, so he gave me his number. [When I called Billing] he asked me some questions about the Nigerian team.
“And he said, ‘I am very, very interested to come with you, but give me some time.'”
Rohr speculated that the agent may have been using Nigeria to prop his player up in the eyes of the Denmark coach: “I think the agent is using this interest to give him more importance or more chances to play in Denmark.”
Rohr insists that neither he nor his team would beg any player to represent Nigeria, but that the door would stay open for those who wanted to play, as long as they are better than his current crop.
The coach said: “We never beg anybody. But if they want to come, if they are good players, yes. Some players sometimes want to come but we have already better players in these positions.”
Cyriel Dessers and Kingsley Ehizibue are two of those new players who would most likely have made their debuts but for the coronavirus-enforced suspension of football activities.
And Rohr says he is hoping to get QPR’s Ebere Eze too: “We hope Eze will come. But you know there is a process to follow.
“If they play already for the youth team in England or other countries, there is a process, write a letter, go to the FIFA commission, and so on.”