Aston Villa midfield prospect Jack Grealish is poised to choose England as his senior international side before the final round of Euro 2016 qualifiers against Estonia and Lithuania next month.
The 20-year-old, who played for the Republic of Ireland at Under-17s, Under-18s and Under-21s level, has been pondering his international allegiance all summer, but according to The Independent he will choose Roy Hodgson’s England.
It will come as big blow to Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill, whose men face crucial Euro qualifying games against Germany and Poland up next, and who was believed to be hoping to include the Villa man in his squads next month.
England boss Hodgson last month said he wasn’t sure what Grealish was waiting for and O’Neill has hinted at being slightly irked by what he perceived to be pressure being placed on Grealish, whose celebrates his birthday today.
Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood has said he will not influence Grealish’s decision and says it’s down to “what his heart is telling him”.
“I spoke to Roy Hodgson, I spoke to Martin O’Neill and Jack Grealish and his father and I told them that it is not my decision to make. It’s up to them four to fight it out and keep me out of it.
“I really can’t make his mind up for him. He’s got to make a decision on what his heart is telling him – is he English or is he Irish?
“I had a similar situation with Nabil Bentaleb as he could have played for Algeria or France and he told me ‘My blood’s Algerian, I feel Algerian, I am going to play for them’. That’s how he made his decision, perhaps Jack will feel the same,” said Sherwood.