England boss Southgate says he has ‘no update’ on Rice
‘I think it was important that we gave Declan time to make his decisions’
England manager Gareth Southgate at a press conference at St George’s Park on Thursday. Photograph: Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Gareth Southgate has yet to receive an update on Declan Rice’s future amid reports the West Ham youngster had decided to switch allegiance from the Republic of Ireland to England.
A fine start to the season has fuelled talk around the international future of the 19-year-old, who has represented Ireland’s senior side three times.
Martin O’Neill left Rice out of last month’s internationals and did so again on Thursday, when it was reported that the teenager had decided to represent England moving forwards.
Ireland boss O’Neill said he was still “hopeful” and England counterpart Southgate has yet to hear one way or another.
“I think I said last month there had been discussions but that hasn’t been taken any further,” he told Talksport.
“I said then, I think it was important that we gave Declan time to make his decisions.
“There’s no update from our side on that so, yeah, I guess we’ll know when we know.”
Meanwhile, West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini insists Rice should not be pressured into deciding his international allegiance.
“I am always talking with all players, Declan also,” added Pellegrini. “He is a young player, we need to give him time to make a difficult decision, it is not easy.
“Both sides are close for him so we must not pressure him about his contract or what country he will play for.
“He can be a top player maybe some time in the future. He is learning a lot, always asking, he is very young but he has a huge future.”