Michael O’Neill is confident Joe Gormley’s time will come in international football.
O’Neill admitted he was tempted to include the Cliftonville hot-shot – who scored 41 goals last season – in his squad for forthcoming games against Qatar, the Republic of Ireland and Romania.
But the Northern Ireland boss said the time wasn’t right for the 24-year-old’s inclusion.
“I was tempted to bring him in based on statistics, but you are looking at a part-time player who hasn’t played since the start of May,” O’Neill said.
“That’s a huge jump to ask Joe to come into the squad. I don’t think this is the right time for Joe. There is a lot of speculation about him and I’d like to think he would get the opportunity to go across the channel and then you could really consider him more than you could do now.”
O’Neill joked: “If I called him in Gerard Lawlor might ask for £500,000 as well, so that’s another factor to consider.
“I have spoken to Joe and said to him this may not be the right time for him and hopefully that something would happen for him in the summer.”