Jack Grealish's Dad floats a curious plan
Jack Grealish's father Kevin has confirmed that his son has yet to make a decision on his international future and cheekily suggested he could play for each team in the friendly between the Republic of Ireland and England on June 7th.
English-born Grealish has played at a variety of junior levels for Ireland, but his emergence as a star of Aston Villa's run to the FA Cup final has sparked rumours that he could be set for a call-up to an England international squad this summer.
England under-21 boss Gareth Southgate is keen to recruit Grealish ahead of his side's European Championship finals appearance this summer, with his Dad Kevin telling talkSPORT that decision time is looming for his teenage son.
"There is a friendly coming up between Ireland and England on June 7th and we could play 45 minutes for Ireland and 45 minutes for England," joked Grelish with a smile.
"Everyone is talking seriously about it now and saying what are you going to doOver the last few months, I’ve been asked the questions loads and loads of times. It’s completely up to Jack.
"Jack has had a good game on Sunday and he has had a few decent games recently for Aston Villa. He just needs to keep doing that and his international chance will come if he keeps performing."
Meanwhile, Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood has also offered some fresh advice for Grealish, as he suggested his heart needs to rule his head in this decision.
"I had the same situation with Nabil Bentaleb when I was at Tottenham," said Sherwood.
"He could have gone to play for France, he decided to pick Algeria. I did have a chat with him.
"He asked me for my views and I told him he had to go with his heart. Do you think you are French or Algerian.
"That is the decision he needed to make and he decided to pick Algeria. Now Jack needs to make that same decision."
Meanwhile, Republic of Ireland and Villa keeper Shay Given believes Grealish is good enough to play for the Ireland senior team now.
“Jack should really be involved in the first team squad at the minute with Ireland I think, but he is a young guy and you don’t want to rush him into these decisions,” stated Given.
“In an ideal world we’d love him to play for us because at the age of 19, he has a big future ahead of him. I just think Jack needed someone to put his arm round him and really get behind him and Tim Sherwood has done that since he’s been here.
“He has done it before with previous young players at Tottenham. It’s great for Jack, he has shown if the manager gives you that belief and getting his first start in the Premier League gives him that confidence injection. He has got ability and can cause teams problems.”
The worry for FAI chiefs and Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neil must be that Grealish's international future is now very much under the microscope and for the first time in his youthful career, the prospect of an England senior call-up is edging closer.
For the kid crowned as the FAI's Young Player of the Year last month, decision time is on the horizon.