Republic of Ireland winger Aiden McGeady was heading back to Russia rather than for Belgium today after Spartak Moscow requested his return to the club.
Manager Giovanni Trapattoni revealed yesterday that he had given both McGeady and Wolves' Stephen Hunt the opportunity to be released from the squad which will face Italy in a friendly in Liege tomorrow night, but both had asked to stay.
However, at the request of Spartak Moscow, whose season is ongoing, the former Celtic man will now head back to eastern Europe.
A Football Association of Ireland spokesman said: 'Aiden McGeady has been given permission by Giovanni Trapattoni to leave the squad after his club were in contact to request if he could be released ahead of forthcoming club games.'
McGeady turned in an impressive individual display in Saturday night's 2-0 Euro 2012 qualifying victory in Macedonia as he won his 40th senior cap, and has produced some of his best form for Ireland in the current campaign.