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Spain will ‘sign’ French defender Le Normand

French defender Robin Le Normand has begun the process of obtaining dual nationality in order to play for the Spain national team, a Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) source told AFP.

The Real Sociedad defender, 26, could follow in the footsteps of Aymeric Laporte, who did the same in 2021, while Brazil-born striker Diego Costa obtained Spanish nationality in 2013 and played for La Roja at the 2014 World Cup.

Spain’s move to acquire Le Normand’s services comes after Sergio Ramos, who made a record 180 Spain appearances, retired from international duty this week.

The veteran PSG defender hit out at new Spain coach Luis de la Fuente for not counting on him and effectively forcing him out.

Le Normand arrived at Real Sociedad in 2016 at 19 years old and has developed into one of La Liga’s best defenders, helping his side challenge for Champions League qualification.

Typically Le Normand would need to wait 10 years before gaining Spanish nationality, but the Spanish Higher Sports Council can request his nationalisation by royal decree, as they did with Laporte in 2021.

Former Manchester City defender Laporte featured for Spain at the 2022 World Cup.

Le Normand has not played for France and because of the dual nationality agreement with Spain, will not need to renounce his French nationality.

The RFEF source told AFP it would be difficult for the paperwork to be completed in time for Le Normand to play in Spain’s Euro 2024 qualifiers in the March international break, against Norway and Scotland.

Le Normand had previously said his intention was to play for the French national team.

“I really thank Spain for the opportunity it has given me, through Real Sociedad, to play professionally, an opportunity I did not have in France,” Le Normand told Spanish newspaper AS in October.

“But I’m French and I feel that way, and my objective is to play for the French national team, which is my national team.”

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