Later today, Martin O'Neill will name his Ireland squad to take on England and Scotland next month. They're two big games, for different reasons, but in reality there'll be one name on everyone's mind.
According to the Telegraph, Martin O'Neill is going to call up Jack Grealish to face England at the Aviva on June 7th. In what would be a very interesting development, it is being suggesting that this is a move on O'Neill's part to force Grealish's hand one way or another. Considering the ongoing tug-of-war with England over the 19 year old's future, that would be a very brave decision from the Ireland manager.
Grealish has, to this point, been steadfast in his belief that he would not play international football again until the start of next season. However, if the Telegraph's report is true, he will have a very big decision to make.
That would be offset somewhat by the fact that O'Neill is 'expected to tell the player and his advisers he will not be forced to play in the European Championship qualifier against Scotland'. That would open the somewhat farcical situation whereby Grealish could line out against England in June but still be available to play for them in the near future.
Despite the expectation around O'Neill's announcement, and all the hyperbole (e.g. 'big developments') that is sure to go with it, the Irish Examiner are reporting that it is unlikely that O'Neill will call on the Ireland u21 player of the year. So, who to believe?
If it's true, the Ireland manager is playing a nervy game. However, with the situation on a knife-edge it seems very unlikely that O'Neill would put Grealish under such pressure without some indication that he is ready to accept the call-up. We'll side with the Examiner on this one but we look forward to being proven wrong.
See also: England Can Forget About Jack Grealish For This Summer At Least
See also: ‘I Could Have Played For Ireland’ – Paul Scholes Has Some Advice For Jack Grealish