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O'Neill keen to keep Villa's Grealish in Ireland fold

John Fallon

Published 21/08/2014 | 02:30

Aston Villa's Jack Grealish is understood to have asked for space to consider his international future and so won't be included in Martin O'Neill's latest Irish squad. Photo: Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images
Aston Villa's Jack Grealish is understood to have asked for space to consider his international future and so won't be included in Martin O'Neill's latest Irish squad. Photo: Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images

Martin O'Neill met with Aston Villa teen star Jack Grealish this week in a bid to dissuade him from jumping ship to England.

The Birmingham-born winger has represented Ireland since the age of 15 after declaring via the grandparent rule.

However, the 18-year-old’s rapid ascent at Villa has alerted his homeland to the rising talent and the race is on to secure his allegiance. After spending a productive spell on loan at Notts County last season, Grealish was handed his Premier League debut by Villa boss Paul Lambert in May against Manchester City.

The tyro’s impressive pre-season back at Villa also earned him a substitute’s appearance in Sunday’s  win at Stoke City. It is understood Grealish has asked for space to consider his international future and so won’t be included in the Irish squad announced by O’Neill today.

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