Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy has sympathised with Declan Rice over the impending decision on his international future.
Newly appointed Ireland boss McCarthy has said he would build his team around Rice if the West Ham midfielder opts to represent the Republic.
The 59-year-old manager reiterates the fact that this is a huge decision for a young man to make and is still of the same opinion to give the 19-year-old time and space.
“There’s a lot going on for the young man,” McCarthy told TalkSport.
“We say, ‘oh they should be able to makes their minds up’, but he’s young fella and he’s only just got into the West Ham team.
“I remember saying when I was doing some stuff with Ireland, ‘look, let him get into the West Ham team, let him settle, let him be a first team player and then he’ll make his mind up’.
“I’m still of the same opinion.”
With Rice’s contract issues now ironed out after he recently signed on with the East London club until 2024, McCarthy believes he is now in a better position to make a decision.
“If he wants to play for me I’ll be delighted, and I’ll be picking him, but I’ve left it with him. I can’t do anymore.
“It’s not my job to decide whether he plays for the Republic of Ireland.
“There was a real issue with his contract [at West Ham] and they got that sorted out now, so I guess he’s got his head clear on that and he can make his mind up.”
“My job is to pick him if he decides to play for us, and I hope he does because he’s an excellent player,” McCarthy continued.
“He’s a player I can build a team around.”