The Football Association are facing a battle with Nigeria over the international future of some of England’s best junior players, with the Super Eagles on the verge of World Cup qualification.

Aidy Boothroyd, the England under-21s head coach, has admitted there is a genuine fear that many of the FA’s leading junior team youngsters could be poached by Nigeria before next summer’s tournament in Russia.

Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham, Liverpool’s Dominic Solanke and Sheyi Ojo, Everton’s Ademola Lookman and Tottenham’s Josh Onomah are all eligible to play for Nigeria despite representing England at various age groups.

Nigeria have already approached Abraham and Ojo over potentially switching allegiance, while Lookman was targeted before talks with the FA in which he agreed to commit his future to England. Abraham, on loan at Swansea, is also understood to have made clear he wants to represent England but Ojo’s future is uncertain.

Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi has already opted to play for Nigeria’s senior team and qualification for the World Cup will be assured if they defeat Zambia at home on Saturday.