Path is now clear for Grealish to commit to Ireland
Rising Aston Villa star Jack Grealish has committed his future to the club by signing a new four-year deal.
His future now secured, the Ireland U21 cap is now free to make the big decision on his international career.
Aware that Premier League rivals were hovering around Grealish after some impressive displays from the teenager in the Premier League this season, Villa have concluded weeks of negotiations with Grealish and his advisers and tied him down to a new contract that keeps him at Villa Park until the 2018 World Cup.
Just how things stand with the player for the World Cup in Brazil that summer we will have to wait and see as Grealish, capped six times at U21 level but who is being chased by England, has yet to make a long-term commitment on his international career.
He dropped out of the Irish U21 panel for a friendly in Norway last week and England U21 boss Gareth Southgate has admitted his interest in the Birmingham-born player, but FAI sources remain confident that Grealish will stay on board with Ireland. His withdrawal from the last U21 panel was accepted on the basis that Grealish was in contract talks with Villa but now that's out of the way, the path is clear for Grealish to commit to Ireland.
"I'm delighted and it's a dream come true to commit my future to my boyhood club," Grealish said.
"I've grown up supporting the club - in fact, I've had a season ticket at Villa since I was four years old and came to every game - so this is a big thing for me and my family.
"All of my family are Villa fans and my dad [Kevin] has been there from the start, all through my career he's followed me and he hasn't missed a Villa game this season.
"This has always been a club that plays a big role in the community, it has a family feel to it and I'm proud to be part of that now. This feels like home to me.
"For the manager and the club to show this faith and trust in me, I'm really appreciative and I'm determined to repay that trust.
"I know I have to continue to kick on and push on now, I have to keep developing and progressing and I have to strive to be as good a player as I can possibly be," he added.