Aston Villa's Traore in no rush to decide international future

By Oluwashina OkelejiBBC Sport
Aston Villa's Adama Traore
Adama Traore

Adama Traore insisted he is not rushing into a decision about his international future, as he concentrates on his club career with Aston Villa.

It had previously been reported that the Spanish-born winger, who has represented his country of birth at under-16, under-17 and under-19 levels, was set to swap national allegiances to his parents' homeland of Mali.

But the 19-year-old says he is not contemplating his international future, despite a formal overture from Mali's Football Federation.

"A decision about international football isn't something that I am thinking about right now," Traore told BBC Sport.

"My priority is to concentrate on what I do for Aston Villa because that is the most significant part of my professional career.

"I want to play well for Villa and give my best because as a young footballer I need to challenge myself to reach the top.

"After that I will sit down and honestly look at my international opportunities and where they fall."

Adama's brother Mohamed, who plays for Spanish club Cordoba in their B team, has already featured for Mali Under-23s this year.

Football's world governing body, Fifa, has told BBC Sport as yet it has not received an official request for a change of allegiance.

Aston Villa signed Traore from Barcelona in August on a five-year deal for a fee reported to be around £7m (US$11m).

He scored his first goal for the club in a Capital One Cup tie against Notts County but was forced off on the hour mark with an injury after a series of heavy challenges against the League Two side.

Traore however made a return with a substitute cameo in last weekend's defeat at Liverpool but he got injured on under-21 Premier League duty this week.

The former Barcelona attacker was not listed for the game against Stoke City this weekend as he is not completely fit.

"It's nothing serious and I hope to be 100 per cent as soon as possible," said Traore.

"My head and heart wants to play right now but I guess it is not possible to rush myself back.

"After spending two months in England I have experienced great support from the fans and staff of Aston Villa.

"International football is for another time but what stands before me now is to be fit and give my best performance to my club always."