Sunderland winger James McClean is on the brink of a sensational appearance at the European Championship finals.
Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni has confirmed that McClean is now "90 to 99 percent" to go to the Euros.
The 23-year-old Derry born star scored for Sunderland against Bolton on Saturday just hours before Trapattoni’s vote of confidence.
The former Northern Ireland under 21 international only made his Republic debut against the Czech Republic in February.
Now he could go to the Euros according to his international manager after a stunning breakthrough season in the Premier League.
“He has a 90 to 99 percent chance of going to Poland. I know he scored again,” said Trapattoni at a press conference following his visit to Croagh Patrick on Saturday.
“But you must wait until May 7 for the squad. We will name 23 with some options.”
McClean could get in at the expense of Wolves star Stephen Hunt or Birmingham midfielder Keith Fahey, both of whom are carrying knocks at present.
Trapattoni will name his squad in Dublin on Monday week but warned Wigan’s James McCarthy: “He is like some others, he must wait.”
Stephen Ireland may also have to await his international return despite recent offers to make his peace with the Irish boss.
Trap added: “Two years I spoke with him in Birmingham. I chose another team. After the Europeans, we have a long list of young players like McCarthy. What do we do, leave these players out to make a place for him?”
No Irish Need Apply? Not anymore