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Gareth Southgate thinks West Ham starlet Declan Rice wants to play for England

Gareth Southgate is convinced Declan Rice wants to play for England.

Three Lions manager Southgate names his next squad on Thursday, and his No.2 Steve Holland saw Rice help West Ham get the better of Manchester United on Saturday.

Although London-born Rice, 19, has played in three Republic of Ireland friendlies, he remains eligible for England and is under consideration to be fast-tracked into Southgate’s squad.

Rice has caught the eye in the Hammers’ midfield this season but can also play in defence.

Holland was impressed by Rice’s weekend contribution and England are crying out for more options in the midfield holding role.

Rice has yet to announce his international preference but the FA are confident the teenager will choose England as he was born in England to English parents and grew up in Surrey.

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