Jack Grealish asks for more time to decide between Ireland and England
Jack Grealish will not be named by Martin O’Neill in the Ireland squad later today for the upcoming Euro qualifiers against Gibraltar and Georgia as he’s requested more time to consider his international dilemma.
The Aston Villa winger had indicated in March his intention to end a year-long break from the Ireland set-up in September but, amid further interest from his homeland of England, the decision has been pushed out.
Complicating the matter further is the fitness status of the 19-year-old. Last night’s reserve outing against Derby County – in which he scored the winner – was his first action since injuring his hamstring in pre-season.
Independent.ie understands O’Neill has spoken to Grealish recently and has been made aware of his stance.
The Ireland boss had tabled an invitation to the Birmingham-born playmaker into the senior fold for the friendly against England in June only for it to be declined.
One possible option of Grealish continuing his Ireland career with the Under-21s – thereby leaving open the possibly of defecting to England’s full squad later in his career – has not materialised. Noel King's side continue their qualifying campaign away to Andorra on September 8.
England boss Roy Hodgson developed an admiration for the teen last season when he burst on the scene for Villa under Tim Sherwood, in particular following his dazzling display in the FA Cup semi-final victory over Liverpool.
A player in big demand, Grealish is prepared to keep both Ireland and England waiting.