Having put pen to paper on a new deal to June 2018 at Aston Villa this week, teenage sensation Jack Grealish is now set to resolve his international future.
According to the Irish Times, the promising winger will commit to the Republic of Ireland over switching allegiances to England, and could earn his first call-up to the senior squad for next month’s game against the US national team at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
Aged 19, Grealish has been hailed as one of the building blocks of Villa’s future after making his first-team breakthrough this season, earning rave reviews from four Premier League cameos and one Capital One Cup start thus far.
The Birmingham-born prospect, whose father is from Dublin, has represented Ireland at all age groups from under-15 through to under-21 level, but his recent rise to prominence in the midlands has seen the Three Lions come calling.
His recent withdrawal from Noel King’s Under-21 squad had led to initial concerns that he was considering making the switch, having come just 24 hours after England counterpart Gareth Southgate admitted interest in securing his services, but those fears were soon allied when it emerged that he had been allowed to return to Birmingham in order to resolve his club future.
Having entered the final season of his contract, both Chelsea and Manchester United were linked to his signature in recent weeks, but the lifelong Villa fan remained intent on committing his future to his childhood club.
Now set to join claret and blue teammates Shay Given and Ciaran Clark in the senior Ireland setup, as well as assistant manager Roy Keane, who also serves as Martin O’Neill’s number two, big things are expected of Grealish going forward and he will now be tasked with fulfilling the expectations which followed his high-profile recruitment.
As the game against the US is just a friendly, England are still not completely out of the equation until the point comes that he makes a competitive appearance in a qualifier, but a late reversal is said to be 'inconceivable'.