Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni has left the door open for James McClean to be part of his Euro 2012 squad this summer.
Trapattoni last week suggested he had all but settled on the 23 names he would take to Poland and Ukraine, casting doubt on McClean's inclusion.
But the Italian has now insisted he has yet to make up his mind on the matter.
"I have not decided if he can participate in the Euros or not," he said. "We regard him highly."
The 22-year-old Sunderland player 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.
"We've followed him for many, many games. I know him very well because of the last game."
Trapattoni had previously suggested he would not want to disrupt what has been a largely settled squad so close to a major tournament, but he insisted 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 declared his allegiance to the Republic.
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 (Villa) team. He said Richard is 90% to be ready before the last game."