West Ham co-chairman David Gold was left with egg on his face following recent comments, not for the first time, as he forgot the nationality of a star player.
The controversial chief issued Manuel Pellegrini with the target of establishing Declan Rice as a leading defender for England’s national side, forgetting that the teenager earned his senior debut for the Republic of Ireland in March.
Those comments were quickly jumped upon by many and Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane, himself not an alien to controversy, has mocked Gold.
“It’s going to be pretty difficult if he’s Irish, and he is Irish, he plays for Ireland.”
“Where else would he want to go? If you had a choice, Ireland or England…It’s pretty straightforward. Ireland.”
Rice has represented Ireland since U16 level and is unlikely to turn his back on the nation after breaking into the squad.