Declan Rice's future is less certain than ever following his teammate's comments

Declan Rice's future is less certain than ever following his teammate's comments

Rice is eligible to play for the Republic of Ireland due to his Cork grandparents and the versatile midfielder has represented Ireland at underage level since the age of 15.

As the saga over Declan Rice's worldwide future enters its end stages, Ireland boss Mick McCarthy has revealed he has spoken with his English counterpart Gareth Southgate about the West Ham player.

Mark Noble failed to get enough purchase on a left-footed strike from the edge of the box as West Ham threatened to take an early lead but it was Arsenal who forced the first real save of the match - Fabianski providing the block after Alexandre Lacazette had exposed a hole in the Hammers' defence.

Speaking on Goals on Sunday, Antonio revealed that he had discussed the decision with Rice.

"I've spoken to him about it".

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"It's a hard situation because I can't put myself in his shoes", Antonio said on the show.

"I want him playing in the position he is now at West Ham, for now and see where he develops".

McCarthy accepts the lure of England is strong if the player's main consideration is going with the team that will qualify for more tournaments. Nearly all of those crocked centre-backs and full-backs are near ready for a return to first team action and they better be because this West Ham side can play.

"This doesn't please me to say this but I think now the bigger clubs in the division will be looking at him and thinking "he will fit in to our team" - a team that's looking to win the title. I think that's his best position". If a full-back goes up, he's able to go out wide to deal with it.

'Away from home though you have to change and not be easy to play through, sometimes you can play through them too easily'. "N'Golo Kante and Claude Makelele, those types of players are what he reminds me of because he completely breaks things up and gets the team ticking".

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