Fresh Hope For Ireland In Race For Declan Rice
The Republic of Ireland have been handed a boost in their battle with England for West Ham youngster Declan Rice.
The 19-year-old is deciding which team he should ply his trade for at international level and according to the bookies England are the frontrunners.
The West Ham defensive midfielder withdrew from Ireland's squad back in September as Martin O'Neill revealed he was considering a switch to Gareth Southgate's Three Lions.
The London native has made three caps for the Republic, although, none of them have been in competitive games meaning he can still make the switch to England.
However, Mick McCarthy was announced the ROI boss earlier today and he revealed he has already held talks with Rice's father about pledging his allegiance for Ireland.
"I have spoken to Declan Rice's father. We had a good conversation. I am going to go and speak with them both in December," McCarthy said.
1/4 says Rice choices Southgate side, while it's 11/4 that the 19-year-old's international future is with Ireland.
Meanwhile, West Ham fans are still waiting for Rice to be rewarded with a new contract at the London Stadium.
The youngster is still on an academy contract meaning he currently only earns about £3,000 a week, while he reportedly wants a new contract worth £40k a week due to becoming a first team regular.
It was understood talks between the club and Rice broke down, however, the 19-year-old exclusively told the Metro earlier this month a deal was close.
"I love West Ham to pieces and the contract is going to be sorted out - we've been speaking about it for a while," he said.
"I'm not really bothered about what other clubs are interested. I'm just focused on playing for West Ham.
"The manager says I need to keep improving and that will come, and that's my take on it. I've just got to keep playing, keep my feet on the ground and I will end up signing another contract at West Ham."