Declan Rice has rejected a call-up from the Republic of Ireland for the second consecutive time, according to the Times. 

The versatile West Ham teenager has been outstanding in recent weeks, which has been all the more impressive as he has two sagas hanging over his head.

His Hammers contract is a point of contention, with the club and the player still unable to agree on a fair valuation in terms of weekly wages.

The other issue is his choice of international team; both England and the Republic of Ireland reportedly hold an interest.

What’s the story?

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The Times report that Ireland boss Martin O’Neill is resigned to doing without Rice for the forthcoming Nations League games against Wales and Denmark.

They also claim that Rice has spoken to England manager Gareth Southgate about representing the Three Lions but will not be part of their squad to face Croatia and Spain in the same competition.

 

They say Rice is planning an extended break from international football, in order to focus on his West Ham form. Rice apparently wants his contract situation sorted before he decides on which nation to represent.

Is it the right call?

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Hammers fans will be pleased to see that Rice is prioritising his club situation over his international saga.

It is becoming increasingly clear that declaring for England is a no-brainer. Southgate’s men were World Cup semi-finalists; Ireland are labouring under the dated approach of O’Neill and Roy Keane.

After this saga, it is likely that Rice would be met with hostility if he decided to play for Ireland, in any case.

From a cynical viewpoint, Rice will also earn more as an England international than as an Irish one, also. His latest snub is a step towards making the right call.

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