Mick McCarthy – the new Republic of Ireland manager – watched Declan Rice in action against Cardiff City, according to The Telegraph.
Rice is currently agonising over his international allegiance. And McCarthy is planning talks with the West Ham starlet over his international future.
The dilemma facing Declan Rice
Rice is at the centre of a tug-and-war between the Republic of Ireland and England as he decides who to pledge his international allegiance to.
The 19-year-old has represented the Republic of Ireland at every youth level from under-16 to under-21.
And he has even earned three caps for the senior side, although he is still eligible to switch to England because they were only friendly matches.
Rice recently turned down a call-up to play in the UEFA Nations League, which would have tied him down to the Boys in Green for the rest of his career.
The teenager’s grandparents hail from Cork in Ireland and his father wants him to commit to McCarthy’s side, as per The Telegraph’s report.
But England boss Gareth Southgate sees Rice as an ideal holding midfielder for the Three Lions in the future.
Rice was born in London and has grown up in the capital so he understandably has split loyalties.
Another major decision for Rice
This international conundrum is not the only major decision facing Rice at the moment.
He is also struggling to agree a new contract with West Ham, much to the fans’ dismay.
The London Evening Standard’s latest update suggests West Ham will not speak to Rice about a new deal until the summer.
But with other clubs circling, this needs to be sorted quickly.
West Ham fans believe that Rice is one of the best young talents to come out of the academy for years; they cannot afford to lose such a prize asset.