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Lyon's Morel keen to represent Madagascar

Olympique Lyonnais defender Jeremy Morel has contacted Nicolas Dupuis to offer his services to Madagascar ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations, according to the head coach.

The Barea sealed qualification for their first ever AFCON appearance earlier this month as they dispatched Equatorial Guinea home and away to progress from Group A alongside Senegal.

Dupuis has already revealed his desire to tap into the nation's diaspora to bolster their squad ahead of next year's tournament in Cameroon, although he's been happily surprised by Morel's revelation that he's eligible for selection.

"He's the one who called me, and offered himself very simply," Dupuis told L'Equipe, relaying a phone call that had taken place before Madagascar's qualification was confirmed.

"He's definitely the one who called me. I'm not the one who went looking for him. I had no idea that Jeremy could be Malagasy.

"He offered himself very simply saying, 'Coach, you will soon be qualified, I do not want to take anyone's place, but know that I am of Malagasy origin.

"'I would be very proud to wear the shirt of Madagascar,' It was good because I was looking for a defender by trade, who could complete the group."

Morel could be one of several new faces introduced to the squad over the coming months, with goalkeeper Zacharie Boucher and forward Ludovic Ajorque of Strasbourg having already been mentioned by the coach.

The veteran defender, who can play in various positions in the backline, spent nine years with FC Lorient before signing for Olympique de Marseille in 2011.

He won the Coupe de la Ligue and the Trophee des Champions with OM, before joining Lyon in 2015.

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