Declan Rice is set to turn his back on the Republic of Ireland and commit his future to England according to reports across the water.
The Daily Star is reporting that the 19-year-old West Ham man has been in talks with Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate and is set to pledge himself to the country of his birth.
Rice, who can play in defence of midfield, is one of the most promising young prospects in the Premier League and he has enjoyed a good start to the season with the Hammers.
He played underage for Ireland and featured in three senior games under manager Martin O’Neill, but they were all friendly internationals meaning that he isn’t tied to the Boys in Green.
The news will come as a huge blow to O’Neill and his Ireland set-up as he aims to build towards the Euro 2020 qualification campaign.
Rice chose not to feature in the Ireland squad for the recent games against Denmark, Wales and Poland as he mulled over his future.
And now it seems that he has made his decision, which will come as a massive blow to Ireland, who he is eligible to play for thanks to his Irish-born grandparents.
Speaking back in August, O'Neill explained Rice's absence and said he remained optimistic that the teenager would remain an Irish player.
"I’ve spoken to him, I’ve spoke to the family," said the manager. "His father is an absolute gentleman, he’s very keen for him to play for us too but the lad just needs a little bit more time.
"He’s been brilliant for us in senior games. I think the Republic of Ireland have done everything to sell the country to him. He’s been welcomed by the players, by the fans too.
"I’m not so sure what else we can do. Obviously the country of his birth have come calling."
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