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Gary Neville has harsh words for West Ham United star Declan Rice and the agent of Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish.

Rice has been making the headlines during the international break after Ireland boss Martin O’Neill revealed the 19-year-old was considering his future following an approach from England.

“England have spoken to him,” O’Neill told BBC Sport when asked why Rice had been omitted from his squad.

“He is taking time to make his mind up.”

Rice shot to prominence last season with West Ham and cemented his place in the first team.

He also enjoyed a meteoric rise on the international scene and marked his Republic debut with a man of the match display.

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‘You should know’

The midfielder’s hesitancy over his international allegiance has sparked much debate.

Fans, Rice’s Ireland and West Ham teammates, his managers and ex professionals have all had their say.

Much of the reaction has been negative as pressure builds on the youngster.

That pressure was ramped up even more on Sunday night when respected pundit and former England player and coach Gary Neville waded into the debate on Twitter.

 

And he also had some stinging criticism for the agent of Aston Villa favourite Grealish.

“You should know where your allegiance lies,” Neville said on Twitter in response to a discussion about Rice’s current impasse.

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‘It doesn’t just creep up on you’

“I remember when with England and (Jack) Grealish (the agent) wanting meetings so he could decide who to choose.

“The idea of a country begging/trying to convince someone to represent them is wrong.

“That’s fine (if you have mixed heritage and feel a bit of both) but this situation doesn’t just creep up on you.

“You’ve had years to think about it with your family where your allegiance lies. Not just wait to see if a countries manager fancies you or not!”

Harsh words indeed from Neville but he is only saying what most fans are already thinking.

It is turning into an unsavoury situation for Rice who needs to concentrate on getting back into the Hammers first team after falling out of favour under new manager Manuel Pellegrini.

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