Ireland Under-21 star Declan Rice has popped up on England’s radar with manager Gareth Southgate admitting that the West Ham defender is someone they are "aware of".

The English-born 19-year-old, who qualifies for the Republic through the grandparent rule, has trained with Martin O’Neill’s senior side but remains uncapped in a competitive fixture and could switch allegiance.

There is no indication that the young Hammers man, who has played 19 times this season, is considering a change but England are monitoring his progress.

"He is somebody whom we know with our technical department," said Southgate about Rice, who can also play as a midfielder.

"We are across every young player and, of course, there are plenty of young players with dual nationality. Wales have several players who have been in our system and who have got caps.

"So we are always looking. We are aware of him, we are aware of his situation.

"It's more one for Dan Ashworth as technical director than for me as senior manager."

Speaking during the week, O’Neill, who has friendlies against Turkey and France lined up, said: "He's done very well.

"We took him down for a little bit of training in Fota Island last year, he was an impressive young man I must admit.

"I don't think it's any major surprise to see him break through, particularly when West Ham were having some difficulties.

"The very fact that the manager puts him in, in those circumstances, I think speaks volumes for him."

"You would like these players to have some experience of playing - particularly these games away from home - a big atmosphere in Turkey and certainly in France."