West Ham United wing-back Arthur Masuaku has reportedly been cleared to play for the Democratic Republic of Congo at international level.
The news came from the Twitter page of DR Congo football news outlet Leopard Leader Foot, which claims that world governing body FIFA has given permission for the 24-year-old to switch nationalities.
— Leopard Leader Foot (@leopard243) March 2, 2018
However, local website Foot.cd states that as of yet no official ruling has been made.
As Masuaku explained in an interview with Leopard Leader Foot over the Christmas period, he has made this decision with the goal of helping the African nation reach a first World Cup since 1974.
The former Olympiakos star represented France up to under-19 level but seems to have accepted that there is too much competition for places in Didier Deschamps’ side for him to have a realistic chance of earning a call-up.
He will not be taking part at the World Cup this summer though, as DR Congo narrowly missed out on qualification for the finals.
Having made it through to the third qualifying stage in the CAF section, they agonisingly finished second in their group to Tunisia despite winning four of their six matches.
Masuaku has been in decent form for West Ham since November, when David Moyes was brought in to replace Slaven Bilic as manager, although he is currently in the midst of a six-match suspension for spitting at an opponent during an FA Cup tie with Wigan Athletic in January.
Hammers fans will be anticipating his return at the end of the month when the team take on Southampton in the Premier League after the international break.
Before that, Masuaku will serve the last game of his ban for the clash with Burnley at the London Stadium this weekend.
Those two fixtures have taken on increased importance following the disastrous 4-1 loss to fellow relegation candidates Swansea City on Saturday afternoon.