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Mick McCarthy and Robbie Keane 'had a really good meeting' with Declan Rice over international future

The talented 19-year-old West Ham midfielder has spoken with the new Irish management setup.

MICK MCCARTHY HAS said he and assistant Robbie Keane had a positive meeting with Declan Rice and his father in discussing the player’s international future.

Reports this week suggested the midfielder was set to commit to Ireland, with Rice having played at underage level for Ireland and in two international friendlies against Turkey and the USA earlier this year.

Declan Rice Rice played in international friendlies against the USA and Turkey this year for Ireland. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

However there were suggestions that Gareth Southgate and England and had stepped up their interest in the 19-year-old declaring for the Three Lions.

Speaking on Sky Sports Goals on Sunday this morning, the new Ireland boss said that he was satisfied with his meeting with Rice, but that he needed to know the player’s decision by March, when Euro 2020 qualifiers get underway.

“I had a really good meeting with him. Myself, Robbie and his dad,” McCarthy said.

“It’s just up to him when he wants to decide. That’s how I’ve left it, to be quite honest with you.

Mick McCarthy with Terry Connor and Robbie Keane Newly appointed Ireland manager Mick McCarthy with his assistant Terry Connor and coach Robbie Keane. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

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

“He’s a really talented player — he’s a lovely lad. He’s got a really nice family behind him. He’s got everything about him that you’d want him to play for you.

“I’d love to build a team around him. We start in March. That’s my deadline, I need to know by then. He could be a future captain, he’s that type of player.”

Originally published at 13.02

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Aaron Gallagher

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