Roy Keane will ask Dwight Yorke to miss two Trinidad and Tobago internationals early next month.
The Sunderland striker has been called into the latest Soca Warriors squad, for friendlies against Nicaragua and Panama in Trinidad.
But Black Cats boss Keane wants his former Manchester United team-mate to concentrate on life at Sunderland.
If Yorke goes, he faces two long flights and will be away from Wearside for nearly a fortnight, just at a time when he is starting to find his feet at Sunderland.
Keane said: "I've had a chat with Dwight and I'm due to speak with him again. I'll never begrudge a player the chance to play for his country, but it's getting the balance right.
"He's come to a new club here, he's looking to settle in and he's still looking for that bit of match sharpness.
"Dwight has said that it's a transitional period over there and that they are looking to use his experience. I haven't got a problem with that, but I think he's got to be fair to everyone and fair to himself.
"If he's going over there, playing two friendly matches and looking to come back and play for us, I think it's unrealistic.
"A lot of managers have to deal with this scenario. Dwight's not going to be around in the next World Cup, so he's got to be fair to himself. I'll be chatting to him and we'll see what is going to happen."
Yorke is due to leave for Trinidad directly after Sunderland's game against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, linking up with his international team-mates in Port of Spain next Tuesday.
They play Nicaragua at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain on October 7 followed by a game against Panama four days later.
Yorke would then face a transatlantic flight - a 5,000-mile trip - arriving back in Sunderland the day before they go to Preston on October 14.
The former Manchester United striker, who played in the last World Cup in Germany, met Trinidad & Tobago coach Wim Rijsbergen last week to discuss his international future.
Rijsbergen said: "Dwight is of course trying to get back in the picture with Sunderland and he will try to help out as best as he can for the next two years.
"He was very positive and one of his goals is to play a part in the Gold Cup next year. Sooner or later he has to make a decision."
Yorke will now sit down with Keane before a decision is made about next week and his international future.