Jack Grealish: Aston Villa player turns down Republic call-up

Jack Grealish
Birmingham-born Jack Grealish has three Irish grandparents

Aston Villa's Jack Grealish has turned down a place in the Republic of Ireland squad for the friendly against England and Euro qualifier against Scotland.

There was speculation that the in-form midfielder would be called up by Republic boss Martin O'Neill but Grealish, 19, asked not to be included.

Birmingham-born Grealish can also play for England although he has already represented the Republic's Under-21s.

"Jack didn't want to make up his mind at this stage," said O'Neill.

The Republic manager said he had spoken to both Grealish and the player's father.

A "disappointed" O'Neill confirmed he had intended to include Grealish but added that he still believed "there is a good possibility" the midfielder will play for the Republic.

Grealish absence 'disappoints' O'Neill

"I'm sure that he could in the future (choose Ireland)," said the Republic manager

"He didn't want to make a decision now. I would have liked to have had him training with us for the week ahead of England game. That's a disappointing aspect."

O'Neill's press conference to announce his squad was delayed by around 40 minutes.

Asked whether this was because he had been in conversation with Grealish's father, O'Neill replied:"Not necessarily."

O'Neill's side face England in Dublin on 7 June before the vital home Euro 2016 qualifier against Scotland at the Aviva Stadium six days later.

Grealish is believed to be on England Under-21 boss Gareth Southgate's radar although the teenager has said he plans to play for the Republic's Under-21s in their Uefa qualifier against Andorra on 8 September.

Aberdeen's Adam Rooney
Aberdeen striker Adam Rooney has been handed a first Republic of Ireland call-up

Earlier this year, Grealish suggested he wanted to delay a call-up to the Republic of Ireland senior squad until next season.

Grealish earned positive reviews for his display in Villa's FA Cup semi-final win over Liverpool last month and has continued to impress in recent games for his club.

O'Neill has given first senior call-ups to Aberdeen striker Adam Rooney and Brentford midfielder Alan Judge as he named an extended 33-man squad for the games which will be preceded by a behind-closed-doors game with Northern Ireland on 4 June.

Everton midfielder Darron Gibson (foot) and Aston Villa defender Ciaran Clark (medial ligament) are both ruled out by injury but Robbie Keane is included despite concerns over a groin problem.

Republic skipper Keane has not played for LA Galaxy for a month because of his injury.

O'Neill will reduce the squad before the players link up on 1 June.

Republic of Ireland squad

Goalkeepers: David Forde (Millwall), Shay Given (Aston Villa), Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday), Darren Randolph (Birmingham)

Defenders: Richard Keogh (Derby), Marc Wilson (Stoke), Seamus Coleman (Everton), Cyrus Christie (Derby), John O'Shea (Sunderland), Alex Pearce (Reading), Paul McShane (Hull), Stephen Ward (Burnley)

Midfielders: James McCarthy (Everton), Jeff Hendrick (Derby), Harry Arter (Bournemouth), Glenn Whelan (Stoke), Aiden McGeady (Everton), James McClean (Wigan), Alan Judge (Brentford), Robbie Brady (Hull), Anthony Pilkington (Cardiff), Stephen Quinn (Hull), David Meyler (Hull), Wes Hoolahan (Norwich)

Forwards: Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy), Shane Long (Southampton), Daryl Murphy (Ipswich), Jon Walters (Stoke), Kevin Doyle (Colorado Rapids), Anthony Stokes (Celtic), David McGoldrick (Ipswich), Rooney (Aberdeen), Simon Cox (Reading)