Watford boss Claudio Ranieri has warned Nigeria that Emmanuel Dennis may be blocked from joining their African Cup of Nations squad.
Dennis was included in Augustine Eguavoen’s 28-man party for the tournament in Cameroon, which begins on January 9.
Nigeria expected their UK-based players to begin arriving in the capital Abuja on Monday — after Watford host Tottenham on Saturday — ahead of their opening game against Egypt, one of the favourites, on January 11.
But Hornets boss Ranieri has raised doubts over Dennis’s involvement by revealing Nigeria may have missed the deadline to inform Watford of their intention to select him. That could give the club the power to decide whether to release Dennis, 24, for international duty.
“I’m not so sure I’ll miss Dennis now and if he goes to the national team, we have to wait,” the Hornets boss said.
“The email didn’t arrive at the right moment. The national team has a time to send a pre-call. They didn’t respect the days, and I want to see.”
Ranieri added: “The email arrived late. They have a time when they need to send a pre-call; if they don’t send it, we can choose.”
Talks between Watford and the Nigeria Football Federation will determine the issue.
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