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Chase is on

Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger, Carlo Ancelotti and Kenny Dalglish are scrambling for pole position in the race to sign James McCarthy and the bidding is likely to open at €20m.

At least Giovanni Trapattoni has finally climbed aboard the McCarthy bandwagon and the Ireland manager now believes he has a mixture of Michel Platini, Gianni Rivera and Sandro Mazzola on his hands.

"For a kid his age, he is very mature. He can play different positions and he has a very good personality on the pitch. He is like Platini, Rivera and Mazzola, a smart and creative player," said Trapattoni.

That's a considerable change from a few months ago when Trap painted McCarthy as the unwilling international.

Now, however, he's the star pupil and will get the chance to show us more of what he's got when he lines out alongside Trapattoni's young guns against Uruguay at Lansdowne Road tomorrow night. "We will look to the young players for this game against Uruguay. I have a lot of trust in the young players," Trap claimed after he told Robbie Keane, Richard Dunne, Damien Duff, Kevin Kilbane and the unfortunate Kevin Doyle to go back to their clubs.

"Kevin has a medial ligament injury and it could be one, maybe two months. I am hopeful he will be back with us in June," said Trap.

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