Mick McCarthy believes that Declan Rice now has the headspace to make a decision regarding his international future after he sorted out his contract situation with West Ham.
Late last month, Rice signed a new deal which ties him to West Ham until 2024.
"There’s a lot going on for the young man," the Ireland manager told Talksport.
We say, ‘oh they should be able to makes their minds up’, but he’s young fella and he’s only just got into the West Ham team.
I remember saying when I was doing some stuff with Ireland, ‘look, let him get into the West Ham team, let him settle, let him be a first team player and then he’ll make his mind up’.
I’m still of the same opinion.
Speaking on Sky Sports prior to Christmas, McCarthy said he and Robbie Keane had a "really good meeting" with Rice and his father, Sean. That followed reports that the 19-year-old was on the verge of committing to Ireland.
"If he wants to play for me I’ll be delighted, and I’ll be picking him, but I’ve left it with him. I can’t do anymore," continued McCarthy.
"It’s not my job to decide whether he plays for the Republic of Ireland.
"There was a real issue with his contract [at West Ham] and they got that sorted out now, so I guess he’s got his head clear on that and he can make his mind up.
"My job is to pick him if he decides to play for us, and I hope he does because he’s an excellent player.
"He’s a player I can build a team around.
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