Martin O'Neill questions Sky Sports reporter after Declan Rice story
Martin O'Neill has rejected Sky Sports' report about Declan Rice.
The broadcasters claimed on Thursday that Rice had decided to switch international allegiance from the Republic of Ireland to England.
They ran the report on Sky Sports News and reporter Rob Dorsett tweeted about it, saying that Rice "rejected a call-up" to the Ireland squad for matches against Wales and Denmark later this month.
Understand #whufc Declan Rice has decided he wants to play for #england in future, rather than #roi. He has again rejected a call-up from Martin O’Neill today, to avoid playing in a competitive match, which would have precluded him under FIFA rules from playing for Eng in future.
— Rob Dorsett (@RobDorsettSky) October 4, 2018
However, O'Neill spoke to the press on Thursday morning and said that he hadn't called Rice up to the squad, so therefore the player couldn't reject an invitation.
He said the West Ham midfielder was still taking time before deciding on his international future. And that he was "hopeful" Rice would return to play for Ireland.
Sky Sports claim Declan Rice has decided to play for England
There have been conflicting reports about this today. Declan Rice has decided to play for England...
The Ireland manager was asked about the Sky Sports report by reporters at the Aviva on Thursday.
He denied Sky's version of events and questioned a reporter from the station, asking Sky reporter Guy Havord about the story.
However, Havord explained that his colleague had broken the story, and he "knew nothing about it."
Martin O'Neill talks to journalists, including @Corktod, to deny reports @_DeclanRice has declared for @England #RTEsoccer pic.twitter.com/1opoSZJwzi
— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) October 4, 2018
Rice has three senior caps for the Republic of Ireland and has played for the country at underage level. As he only appeared in friendly games at senior level, the 19-year-old is eligible to switch allegiances to England.
Gareth Southgate admitted last month that he has been in contact with Rice about potentially representing the country.
Rice asked to be omitted from Ireland's squad for matches against Wales and Poland in September as he wanted time to decide his international future.