Giovanni Trapattoni has raised serious question marks over the future of defender Richard Dunne after leaving the Dubliner out of his squad for the August friendly away to Wales.
Dunne, captain Robbie Keane and Wolves striker Kevin Doyle, currently linked with Celtic, are all missing from an extended 26 man squad for the friendly in Cardiff on August 14.
Trapattoni has said that Keane is being rested for the game due to his MLS commitments while Doyle is out of favor as the likes of Conor Sammon gets his chance at international level.
But the omission of Dunne, days after he signed for London championship side QPR, has raised most eyebrows, with many pundits convinced the player has joined Darron Gibson, Kevin Foley and Stephen Ireland in the international wilderness.
Dunne himself has admitted that he will pack in the game if the groin injury returns, an injury which reduced him to just one substitute appearance for Ireland and none at all for Aston Villa.
And Trapattoni’s latest musings on the Moscow hero will offer Dunne’s supporters little hope for his international future.
“I’m not saying he’s played his last game but life goes on and, at the moment, we continue our evolution,” Trapattoni said.
“We told him that when he plays for his new club, we can evaluate his performances and consider him."
“When you have had two or three of these injuries it is difficult. I hope he can recover because he has been an important player.
“He has personality, he is strong in the air and he is fast, which is important in international football. If he plays like he did before, he can come back because he has been good for us. Sean St. Ledger plays with more confidence alongside him.
“He needs a month of playing, playing and playing to achieve his fit condition again.
“The English league is tough and if he is tired then the manager has to understand when to leave him out, but you can’t play him one game and then rest him for the next.”
Explaining the absence of Doyle and Keane, Trapattoni added, “It’s an opportunity to look at other strikers.
“Not this time for Doyle, no, but we spoke before. Kevin is close to my heart as a man and a player, but we have others like Shane Long, Conor Sammon, Jon Walters and Simon Cox. If there is someone better coming up, you must give them a chance. You can’t keep going back.”
Hull City midfielder Stephen Quinn retains his place in the squad after caps against Georgia and Spain, but defenders Richard Keogh and Damien Delaney and striker Andy Keogh are all dropped.
Norwich midfielder Anthony Pilkington has been included again despite failing to show for the summer friendlies with Trapattoni adamant he must turn up this time.
“He can help us change the system we play. I hope he comes in,” Trapattoni said.