Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy has said the meeting with Declan Rice over his international future was "really good" and that he believes the West Ham man could win 100 caps in the green shirt.

Rice is mulling over a decision on whether to play for his birth nation England or Ireland, who he has won two caps with so far, but not competitively.

McCarthy is expecting a decision soon with the qualifiers for Euro 2020 due to start in three months.

He told Sky Sports: "I had a really good meeting with him. It was myself, Robbie Keane and his Dad was there. It’s up to him when he wants to decide. That’s how I left it to be quite honest with you.

"It’s not my decision as to whether he plays for the Republic of Ireland. It’s only my job that if he wants to stay with us I could pick him.

"He’s a really talented player and he’s a lovely lad.  I think he has a really nice family behind him. It’s everything about him that you want him to play for him."

Asked whether he foresees Rice winning a century of caps if he chooses to stay with Ireland, the manager said: "I’d say so. I’d love to build a team around him. We start in March. That’s my deadline because I need to know by then.

"Build a team around, he could be a future captain, he is that type of player. 100 caps would be a nice profile to have."

McCarthy has also revealed that he has made moves to entice Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford to play for Ireland.

The 25-year-old qualifies to play through a grandparent. McCarthy will send assistant Terry Connor to Villa Park to watch Bamford in action today after he scored on his return from injury.

McCarthy said: "I have asked about him. I’ve asked about a lot of players like I normally do. My intention is to speak to Patrick.  I think he does qualify. He is a terrific goalscorer.

"He has played against my teams. He won the player of the year the year Daryl Murphy got 27 goals and I thought Daryl should have got it. He puts the ball in the net and you can’t have enough of those. TC is there today watching him."

He added that calling up a player with a connection to Ireland as far out as grandparent matters little given the history of the country.

"If you look at the team that went to Euro 88 and World Cup 1990, they’d be plenty of lads in those teams that weren’t born in Ireland, myself included, and it came from a parent or a grandparent," said the Barnsley born former defender.

"Nothing has made me prouder than playing for Ireland, that’s for sure."