England manager Gareth Southgate is reportedly set to personally check in on Declan Rice as the decision over the 20-year old’s international future edges over closer.
According to ESPN FC, Southgate will be attending West Ham’s clash with Wolves in the Premier League on Thursday night and will make a big play to secure his international services amidst competition from Ireland.
The 20-year old has been involved in an international tug of war between both Ireland and England since August of last year with Rice outlining that he would be making a decision on his future soon.
“With regard to my international future, myself, my dad and my brother [Connor] have talked with Ireland coach Mick McCarthy and I’ve also spoken to Gareth Southgate,” Rice told the Evening Standard.
“They’ve both said that whenever I’m ready, it’s up to me to make a decision. There was so much going on earlier in the season but now most of that has been sorted, so I will make a decision soon.”
Irish manager Mick McCarthy outlined last month that he had had a good meeting with Rice and his family and was keen to “build the team” around the West Ham man should he stick with the Boys in Green.
Rice’s performances, however, have been exceptional this season for West Ham as he continues to prove that he is one of the finest young players in the Premier League, with Pep Guardiola and Manchester City reportedly interested in bringing him to the club as a long-term replacement for Fernandinho.
The 20-year old had appeared three times for the Boys in Green in international friendlies last Summer but was left out of the Irish squad in August by then manager Martin O’Neill who outlined that Rice was still mulling over where his international allegiances lie.