Ivorian defender Joris Gnagnon refuses to close door on France
Joris Gnagnon has spoken out against reports that he has confirmed that he has committed his international future to Ivory Coast, but acknowledged that he is dreaming of representing the Elephants at the World Cup.
On Monday, KweséESPN reported that 20-year-old Gnagnon had refused a call-up to the France U-20 side for the upcoming Youth World Cup in South Korea after deciding that he wants to commit to join Marc Wilmots' Ivorians.
However, in an interview with 20 Minutes, the centre-back has said that he's yet to make a concrete decision on his future, although he revealed that he has spoken to the Belgian head coach.
"For the moment, I haven't communicated anyone on this subject," Gnagnon began. "I'm waiting until the end of the season to make my decision.
"I've thought about [playing in the World Cup for Ivory Coast]," he continued. "To play in the World Cup at 21 wouldn't be bad though!
"It's something that appeals to me a lot," he continued, "but I couldn't go to the World Cup with the Ivory Coast in my head.
"That means that I'm not 100 percent with France," Gnagnon affirmed. "So I completely understand the coach's choice."
Gnagnon has represented France at various youth levels, and had been a contender to represent Les Bleuets in the heart of the defence later this month.
"[France U-20 coach Ludovic Batelli] was ready to take me in principle," the defender continued. "He called me up and I told him that it was going to be complicated because I didn't know which nation I wanted to play for.
"'Ok', he said disappointedly," the Bondy-born powerhouse continued. "He couldn't do anything else, because the list had to be released very soon."
The defender has featured 25 times in the French top flight this season, scoring once and proving himself to be a commanding presence in the air.
Ed Dove is the Soccer Editor for KweséESPN. Follow him on Twitter @EddyDove.