Jamaica talking to West Ham's Antonio over call-up

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Aston Villa v West Ham United - Villa Park, Birmingham, Britain - February 3, 2021 West Ham United's Michail Antonio Pool via REUTERS/Shaun Botterill

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - West Ham United forward Michail Antonio has been approached by Jamaica about switching his national team allegiance to the Caribbean nation, its football federation told Reuters.

Antonio, 30, had been called into England squads by current manager Gareth Southgate and previous boss Sam Allardyce but did not make an appearance for his country of birth.

The London-born striker, who has scored six Premier League goals this season as West Ham have risen to fourth place in the table, qualifies for Jamaica through his parents.

Dalton Wint, General Secretary of the Jamaican Football Federation, told Reuters that they had been in talks with the player aimed at bringing him into the Reggae Boyz squad for their 2022 World Cup, CONCACAF region, qualifying campaign which is due to begin in September.

"He is a very good player that could add quality," said Wint.

The Telegraph newspaper had earlier reported that Antonio, who had turned down a similar chance in 2016, was set to accept an offer this time.

Jamaica, who last qualified for a World Cup in 1998, are attracting interest from a number of players who could qualify to play for the country, said Wint.

"There is interest from a few players in Europe with immense talent," he said, declining to identify the players.

West Ham United and Antonio's representatives were not immediately available for comment.

(Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Toby Davis)

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