McClean could make EURO squad
Republic manager Trapattoni last week suggested he had all but settled on the 23 names he would take to Poland and Ukraine this summer, casting doubt on McClean's inclusion.
But the Italian insisted today he had yet to make up his mind whether to take the 22-year-old Sunderland player, who has been one of the finds of the season in the Premier League.
"We follow him because he's young, his mentality is very strong," said Trapattoni, who handed the attacking midfielder his debut in last week's friendly draw against Czech Republic.
"I have not decided in this moment if he can participate in the EUROs or not. But, in this moment, we regard him highly. We've followed him for many, many games. I know him very well because of the last game."
Trapattoni has previously suggested he would not want to disrupt what has been a largely settled squad so close to a major tournament and he insisted today there was still plenty of time for McClean to become a regular even if he missed the EUROs.
"We have in the future other opportunities to change slowly, slowly these players," Trapattoni said, pointing out the other options at his disposal in Aiden McGeady, Damien Duff and Stephen Hunt. "We have many, many players also in this situation."
McClean was treated to a remarkable reception when he came off the bench for the final 11 minutes last week, the former Derry City star having switched allegiance to the Republic from his native Northern Ireland.
Dunne should be included
While doubt remains over whether Trapattoni would pick the youngster, the Italian confirmed Richard Dunne would be in his squad providing the Aston Villa defender recovered from his fractured collarbone.
"I've been in touch with him," Trapattoni said. "He said 'I will be ready before the last two games in the English season'. It will be important whether he will be ready for the last game in the Premier League. I am sure also our doctor is in touch with the doctor of the [Aston Villa] team. He said Richard is 90 per cent to be ready before the last game."
Trapattoni was speaking at a EURO 2012 finalists workshop in Poland, where his side will play their Group C games against Czech Republic, Spain and Italy. The 72-year-old was bullish about his side's chances of getting out of what looks to be, on paper, a very challenging group.
Defending champions Spain are likely to provide the toughest test. "It's not easy to play against these great players," Trapattoni said. "But I study with a DVD what it is possible to do. In my life, I have learned that in 90 minutes of football anything is possible."
Pointing out Switzerland secured a shock victory against Spain at the last FIFA World Cup™, he added: "It's not impossible to dream."