Mick McCarthy said that he had a positive meeting with Declan Rice and his father, Sean, about the possibility of the West Ham player continuing to play for the Republic of Ireland.
"I had a really good meeting with him - myself, Robbie [Keane] and his dad," the Ireland manager told Sky Sports' Goals On Sunday.
It's just up to him when he wants to decide. That's how I've left it to be quite honest with you. It's not my decision as to whether he plays for the Republic of Ireland. It's only my job if he wants to stay with us, I can pick him.
He's a really talented player. He's a lovely lad. He's got a really nice family behind him. He's got everything about him that you'd want him to play for you.
I'd love to build a team around him. We start in March. That's my deadline, I need to know by then. He could be a future captain, he's that type of player.
The Irish Times reported on Friday that Rice is expected to announce soon that his international future lies with Ireland.
McCarthy was also asked about the chances that Leeds striker Patrick Bamford playing for Ireland. The 25-year-old played once for Ireland at U18 level before switching his allegiance to England.
"I have asked about him, I've asked about lots of players like I normally do," said McCarthy.
"My intention is to speak to Patrick. He does qualify.
"He's a terrific goalscorer, Patrick. He's played against my teams. He just puts the ball in the net and you can't have enough of those."