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Martin O'Neill Gives Encouraging News On Jack Grealish's International Future

Martin O'Neill Gives Encouraging News On Jack Grealish's International Future
By Barry Arnold

Martin O'Neill has named his 37-man provisional Republic of Ireland squad for the crucial upcoming qualifiers and as expected, Jack Grealish was once again a notable absentee.

However the Ireland manager did give some encouraging news regarding Grealish's international future. O'Neill said that the talented 19-year-old midfielder will "decide very shortly what he wants to do".

Grealish's international future has been the subject of intense speculation since he broke into the Aston Villa first-team last season and has been a regular talking point of every squad selection by Martin O'Neill since. Grealish represented Ireland at underage level but was born in England and has yet to declare his allegiance.

O'Neill said,

The situation with Jack is I had a conversation with him and his father about ten days ago. It was fruitful.

They were receptive to what I was saying, realistic as possible and taking certain things into the equation and move it forward.

He is going to decide very very shortly what he is going to do. He will play more often for us and is a very good talent. England naturally will qualify for more competitions than we would do.

The Republic of Ireland manager refused to be drawn on whether he thinks Grealish will declare for Ireland or England, and was quick to take the pressure off the talented youngster.

He continued,

It is not something you decide overnight, this is going to take him for the rest of his football career. I think he and his father agree that it is about time they went and did something about it.

He’s worth waiting for, not necessarily for me, but for ourselves. He’s got that age on his side

What's certain is Grealish isn't available for Ireland's crucial Euro 2016 qualifiers against Gibraltar and Georgia next month, and his international future is still at this point undecided and will continue to be the talking point of Irish squads to come.

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