READING FC's Liam Kelly was accused of being unprofessional after he rejected Martin O'Neill's offer to join the Republic of Ireland squad in a text message.

Former Dunfermline and Aberdeen midfielder Gary Dempsey branded the 22-year-old's actions as a 'shambles' after he turned down the chance to train with The Boys in Green.

Kelly had been included in O'Neill's provisional squad for Friday's friendly fixture against Turkey.

However, the former Aston Villa boss revealed Kelly had shunned several of his approaches and eventually rejected the offer by text, stating he wanted to keep his options open.

It is understood that Kelly is holding out for a place in the England set-up, despite representing Republic of Ireland at youth level.

Posting on Twitter, 37-year-old Dempsey fumed: "To text Martin O'Neill is a shambles. I hope he (Kelly) never gets an international cap for anybody. You either want to play for Ireland or you don't.

"If they (players) don't want to play now, then leave them off, not waiting to see if England come calling."

Kelly represented Republic of Ireland at both Under 19 and Under 21 level.

O'Neill was keen for the Basingstoke-born midfielder to join his squad which also includes former Royals striker Shane Long.

The manager commented: "He was born in England and wants to keep those options open and that's fine."

Mail Online also quoted O'Neill as saying: "I did actually leave a message or two and he got back to me by text. So when we went to name the squad he had not returned a lot of calls."

It is not the first time a Reading FC player has turned down the chance to play for Republic of Ireland, as Dave Kitson once rejected the opportunity.

Kelly has made 31 appearances for Royals this season, scoring six goals.