Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish has ended a period of rampant speculation by declaring his intention to represent England at a senior international level.
The youngster had represented Ireland from under-15 level up as far as under-21, and Ireland boss Martin O’Neill was hoping to secure the services of the talented Birmingham-born star.
It wasn’t to be, however.
The news was broken by Aston Villa’s official Twitter account on Monday afternoon.
“Jack Grealish has made a decision over his international future and opted to play for England.”
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) September 28, 2015
The player himself soon released a follow-up statement on the social media site, confirming his decision.
“It was not an easy decision as Ireland has a special place with me through my family. However, I have decided to represent the country of my birth.”
There had been reports in the media this morning that Grealish was set to declare for England, with The Irish Independent even suggesting that the 20-year-old would be named in their squad later in the week.
Roy Hodgson’s side are scheduled to play both Estonia and Lithuania in Euro 2016 qualifiers next month.