Grealish set to stick with Ireland

Just days after resolving his club future, Jack Grealish is on the verge of making another long-term decision that will please Ireland manager Martin O’Neill.

The Aston Villa winger, having requested time and space from O’Neill in August to finalise his delicate contract situation, is poised to disappoint his native England by sticking with Ireland.

The FA were confident of enticing the Birmingham-born flanker from the Irish fold at the third attempt, when U21 boss Gareth Southgate spoke recently of their admiration for the Premier League newcomer.

Grealish, pictured, and his family, however, are fiercely proud of their Irish heritage and the 19-year-old intends making it a clean sweep of caps for Ireland from U15 upwards by earning his senior debut in next month against USA at Lansdowne Road. As the game isn’t competitive, it leaves open the possibility of him still fleeing to England but that scenario is thought highly unlikely.

Despite England’s ongoing interest, Grealish had never expressed a wish to abandon Ireland.

Indeed, following John O’Shea’s late equaliser that nicked a point for Ireland in Germany on Tuesday, Grealish tweeted “COYBIG” (Come On You Boys In Green).

As the tug-of-war over the flanker cranked up last week, Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane admitted O’Neill and he wouldn’t “go begging” to a player he works with on a daily basis in his similar role at Villa.

Grealish is not expected to figure in the next crunch Euro 2016 qualifier on November 14 in Scotland as O’Neill plans to stay loyal to his squad from the Gelsenkirchen rescue mission. Yet, he’s now very much in contention to accept a call-up for the friendly four days later, when he’ll square up against his Villa team-mate Brad Guzan in goal for the Americans.


Sorting out Posh Cork for ages!Ask Audrey: 'I'll end up looking like a woman from Kanturk'

Cork architect Loïc Dehaye tells Eve Kelliher how he created his dream home from a blank canvas.'It was like this house was waiting for us': Cork architect talks creating his dream home

Keeping to a routine can be difficult for people in quarantine.Life on the inside: 10 ways to start your day right in lockdown

Who needs a gym when you can look in your kitchen cupboards for equipment instead?Don’t have weights for working out? These household objects will do the trick

More From The Irish Examiner