West Ham youngster Declan Rice included in Ireland squad for Turkey friendly

O’Neill will name his squad this afternoon for the friendly away to Turkey

O’Neill will name his squad this afternoon for the friendly away to Turkey

The Ireland manager named Declan Rice in today's squad for the trip to Turkey and the West Ham player is another whose future could venture in another direction, as the English-born defender is still eligible to declare for the land of his birth until he receives a competitive cap for the Republic.

The FAI ever only approach one type of player: "Catholic", O'Neill told The Irish Daily Mail's Philip Quinn.

"I can list you 10 players who have made that decision and have never represented the Republic". "I think Michael has admitted I haven't even taken a player away from him at senior level".

When asked about Michael O'Neill's comments regarding the FAI only choosing Catholic players, Martin O'Neill said he has never chose a player on anything other than merit and that. ultimately, the choice does come down to the player.

"I met him at a game quite recently, at Fulham, and we had a very convivial conversation".

I have a problem when it's a 16, 17 or 18-year-old having to make a decision on his global future. "He's taken Alex Bruce from us during my time here", O'Neill explained.

"It is the player's choice with these issues and I have always accepted that". He made the decision, and I accept that.

"I'm doing the interview here but I think it is Michael that you need to question".

"If they are remarks on my time here, they would be untrue".

O'Neill said that he has "no problem having a conversation about underage", a reference to his counterpart's suggestion that there might be scope for some sort of "gentleman's agreement" on one side not calling up players who have been capped by the other in their teens but this is regarded as hugely unlikely given that it would deprive players of a choice they are entitled to under Federation Internationale de Football Association rules and, in essence, under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

"Not only had we great players playing from both sides of the political divide but we had great camaraderie, so it's very disappointing".

The back-and-forth between both managers will do little to ease the existing tensions between North and South, and with a friendly game coming up between the two sides on November 15, it is hoped that they do not boil over between now and then.

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