France-born midfielder Samba Diakite has been named in Mali’s initial 27-man squad for the African Cup of Nations.

The 22-year-old, who plays for French top-flight Nancy, was handed his first Eagles call-up.

Barcelona midfielder Seydou Keita was also included suggesting he has resolved his problems with the national football federation.

Experienced defender Adama Coulibaly was not picked and is likely to miss out on the final squad with injury.

Keita did not play for his country for nearly two years before making his first appearance since the 2010 African Cup in a qualifier in September.

The 31-year-old Keita’s international comeback continues with his inclusion in coach Alain Giresse’s first squad for next month’s tournament.

The squad will be whittled down to 23 before the squad departs for the tournament to be held in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

The Eagles will camp in Togo from 11 to 20 January before heading for Franceville where they will be based during the tournament.

Mali will face Ghana, Botswana and Guinea in Group D at the African Cup.


Goalkeepers: Oumar Sissoko (Metz, France), Soumbeyla Diakite (Stade Malien), Alimamy Sogoba (As Réal).

Defenders: Ousmane Coulibaly (Brest, France), Idrissa Coulibaly (Esperance Tunis, Tunisia), Drissa Diakite (Nice, France), Cedric Kante (Panathinaikos, Greece), Mohamed Fofana (Toulouse, France), Adama Tamboura (Metz, France ), Amadou Sidibe (Auxerre, France), Ousmane Berthe (Jomo Cosmos, AfSud), Mouhamadou N’Diaye (Vitoria Guimarães, Portugal), Abdoulaye Maiga (USM Alger, Algeria).

Midfielders: Seydou Keita (Barcelona, Spain), Kalilou Traoré (OB Odense, Denmark), Bakay Traore (Nancy, France), Abdou Traore (Bordeaux, France), Samba Diakite (Nancy, France), Mahamane Traore (Metz , France), Sidi Koné (Lyon, France), Cheick Diarra Fatamady (Rennes, France), Souleymane Keita (Sivasspor, Turkey), Samba Sow (Lens, France).

Forwards: Modibo Maiga (Sochaux, France), Garra Dembele (Freiburg, Germany), Cheick Tidiane Diabate (Bordeaux, France), Mustapha Yatabare (Guingamp, France).