ENGLAND manager Gareth Southgate has admitted Declan Rice has 'a really difficult decision' to make as the West Ham United defender weighs up whether to put his name forward for England duty.

Rice has won three international caps for the Republic of Ireland but, due to all of his appearances coming in friendlies, the teenager is still able to switch allegiance to England.

The 19-year-old was born in London but qualifies to represent the Republic of Ireland through his grandparents.

Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill said Rice had not been selected in his latest squad as the former Chelsea trainee was deliberating his future after being contacted by England.

And Southgate, who led England to the semi-finals of the World Cup in the summer, confirmed there is pressure on Rice.

Southgate, speaking at the squad announcement for England's first two UEFA Nations League fixtures, said: "There are so many dual nationality players, he is a good young player. He has a really difficult decision because there is a lot of pressure on him.

"As far as I am concerned he is with Ireland at the moment but as much as we think he is a good player, that decision has to lie with him."

While West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini admitted Rice is in a difficult situation, he believes the youngster should decide whether he feels more English or Irish.

Pellegrini said: "His heart must decide if he feels more Irish or more English.

"With England he will have big competition but I think he is able to take that challenge.

"Maybe for him it can be more easy to play for Ireland but if you trust in yourself and you feel that you are an English player. It is a personal decision.

"It is very difficult to give advice but I am always speaking with him because he is young.

"When you are 19, you need to be strong - he is a strong player, he is a good technical player. I think he has a big future."