Ireland are "resigned to losing" Declan Rice to England team
No news doesn't appear to be good news for Ireland football fans.
On Thursday, Martin O'Neill will name the Republic of Ireland squad for key October games against Wales and Denmark.
Ireland will play two matches that could decide their fate in the new Uefa Nations League tournament. And it looks like they will have to take on their rivals without Declan Rice.
Declan Rice vs Manchester United:
90% pass accuracy
1 key pass
5 accurate long balls
1 tackle won
1 aerial won
Impressive yet again! ⚽️⚒ pic.twitter.com/eb9WBinJXz
— Uber West Ham (@UberWestHam) September 29, 2018
Young writes that the Ireland management team of Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane are "becoming increasingly resigned" to losing Rice to England. Rice has yet to make a decision on his international future and he remains locked in a contract dispute with West Ham.
According to the report in The Sunday Times, the contract situation may need to be resolved before Rice makes a decision on his international future.
Rice represented Ireland at underage level and has three caps for the senior team. As they were friendlies, he is still eligible to switch to play for the country of his birth.
The Londoner is also said to have witnessed Keane's dispute with Harry Arter back in May and was left "chastened" by the experience.
Over the past month, Rice's reputation in England has grown significantly.
The 19-year-old has been pivotal in West Ham's recent run of good form.
With Rice in the side, they beat Everton at Goodison Park, stifled the in-form Chelsea and, on Saturday, beat Manchester United 3-1.
Gareth Southgate has admitted to meeting with Rice about his international future.
The England manager won't want to lose a young player performing so well in the Premier League. There aren't many young footballers playing with such distinction in central midfield in the English top flight, and Rice has rightly won plaudits for his impressive displays.
Needless to say, Ireland need Rice a lot more than the England team.
If Ireland finish bottom of their mini-group with Wales and Cardiff, they will be relegated into the third tier of the Nations League tournament. More importantly, they would also be seeded third in qualification for Euro 2020.