Saturday 16 February 2019

Gareth Southgate pictured at West Ham game amid reports he plans to make contact with Declan Rice

England manager Gareth Southgate in the stands before the match between Wolves and West Ham tonight. REUTERS/Peter Powell
England manager Gareth Southgate in the stands before the match between Wolves and West Ham tonight. REUTERS/Peter Powell
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

England manager Gareth Southgate is expected to speak to Declan Rice about his international allegiances and watched the midfielder feature for West Ham against Wolves this evening at Molineux.

ESPN reported earlier that Southgate would be at the game and would be in contact with Rice.

Southgate met with Rice last summer at St George's Park and reportedly illustrated to the youngster how he would fit into the English setup.

Rice recently revealed he would make his choice between the Republic of Ireland and England 'soon' after resolving his contract situation at West Ham.

Rice dropped a bombshell on previous Ireland manager Martin O'Neill by making himself unavailable for the Nations League game against Wales in September after meeting with Southgate.

Despite representing Ireland from U-16 to U-21 level, and winning three caps in friendlies earlier this year, the Londoner has left open the option of switching by avoiding a competitive outing.

Declan Rice of West Ham United is challenged by Leander Dendoncker of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Raul Jimenez of Wolverhampton Wanderers during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Ham United at Molineux on January 29, 2019 in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Declan Rice of West Ham United is challenged by Leander Dendoncker of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Raul Jimenez of Wolverhampton Wanderers during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Ham United at Molineux on January 29, 2019 in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

A decision from Rice is believed to be imminent.

Mick McCarthy set a March deadline for Rice's decision as he prepares his charges for their Euro 2020 qualification campaign.

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