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Southgate: 'No guarantees for Rice'

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Declan Rice.  Photo: PA

Declan Rice. Photo: PA

Declan Rice. Photo: PA

Gareth Southgate has revealed he has held conversations with Declan Rice over changing allegiances and playing for England - but has made no promises to the Republic of Ireland international.

London-born Rice has three senior caps with the Republic but they all came in non-competitive matches, meaning the West Ham defender can still revert to representing the Three Lions.

The 19-year-old was omitted from Martin O'Neill's latest squad, with the Republic boss admitting he is allowing Rice the time to deliberate his international future.

With a match in the inaugural Nations League to come against Wales, a cap for Rice would have committed him to the Republic of Ireland.

Although he was not named in O'Neill's ranks, he was also missing when Southgate named his own 23-man squad for the upcoming Nations League fixture with Spain and a friendly against Switzerland.

Ahead of meeting up with his players next week, Southgate explained that he has spoken to Rice but has made no assurances over a future England call-up.

"I think it's fair to say I have spoken with him but I have not promised anything because I don't think that's right," the England manager explained.

"It would be easy whether you are with club or national association to promise people things but I can't promise players who were with us at the World Cup that they will be involved in six months' time.

"So why would I promise that to a young player? I think that would be unethical. It's a very difficult situation and I can understand the debate on all sides.

"The landscape is very complicated. The way the world is families are quite transient and nearly every player in Under-15s and Under-16s are dual nationality. This is something all countries are aware of."


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