Mick McCarthy admits he was 'curt' with Declan Rice

Will Keane is ready to make the switch to Ireland

Will Keane is ready to make the switch to Ireland

"Good luck to him, he's got his own career to look after now and I've got mine".

Rice made his decision public two weeks ago but McCarthy told RTE Sport he knew about it several months ago.

But there are other frustrations for the 60-year-old.

Mick McCarthy has provided details of his phone call with Declan Rice when the player informed him that he had made a decision to switch global allegiance to England.

Only two of the four potential recruits to Ireland (Ipswich striker Will Keane and Dutch-based playmaker Daniel Crowley) have actually done something about their much-touted defection to the Ireland cause.

Bamford qualifies to play for Ireland through a maternal grandmother and represented the country at youth level before switching allegiance to England.

"If I am picking one [a captain], which I haven't yet, there wouldn't be any reason why I wouldn't pick him as a captain". I'll come and meet you'.

But hopes of talks with Leeds man Bamford have led to frustration.

Rice finally announced two weeks ago that he was switching global allegiance to England despite winning three senior caps with the Boys in Green in the first six months of past year prior to opting out of Martin O'Neill's squad in late August.

Now 25, Bamford had mooted a switch back to Ireland but McCarthy has been unable to turn that flirtation into a commitment.

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A five-minute struggle ensued, where the opossum, roughly the size of a softball, tried to kick away from the eight-legged insect. Grundler was one of the students who saw the encounter and his sister Maggie Grundler captured the video on her phone.

"He told me it was an honour to play for Ireland but I didn't want to hear it", the Ireland manager said. You might say, "How did I know that?' I just got a feeling, having met and spoken to him".

'There comes a time, if you want to play, pick the phone up.

"And by the way, he is not playing for me, he is playing for Ireland". It's time, if he wants to play, he gets hold of me, or sends me a WhatsApp. So I go, who knows? "They were good players as well".

With little sign of young talent emerging at club level (bar the injured Michael Obafemi), when his squad announcement takes place next week McCarthy is unlikely to have a bunch of new faces in his panel.

In fact, Glenn Whelan is not entirely out of the picture and Daryl Murphy could even be called up, despite announcing his global retirement past year.

"And I wasn't going to leave it open for anyone to say I had driven him away because I hadn't, that's for sure, and just continue to wait for an answer".

"The last time I had the job I had Damien Duff, Niall Quinn, Robbie Keane, Roy Keane, [Mark] Kinsella, Matty Holland, Gary Kelly, Ian Harte, Kev Kilbane", he said. I'm not ruling anybody out of anything.

Wolves' Matt Doherty has arguably been the standout player in his position in the Premier League this season however Ireland's first choice on the right has been captain Seamus Coleman for the last number of years.

McCarthy - who succeeded O'Neill as Ireland boss in late November - met Rice in London a week before Christmas to outline his plans with the senior team.

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