Belfast Telegraph

Monday 24 November 2014

O'Neill hopeful of Keane staying put

Martin O'Neill will run the rule over his squad in a series of friendlies
Martin O'Neill will run the rule over his squad in a series of friendlies

Martin O'Neill believes it would take an 'incredible' offer to tempt Roy Keane away from the Republic of Ireland's Euro 2016 mission, but knows that speculation about his assistant's future is inevitable.

The Corkman has been linked with a number of jobs since coming on board with O'Neill, most recently as a possible deputy to Louis Van Gaal at Manchester United.

O'Neill, who was also floated as a temporary solution for his former club Nottingham Forest, has stressed he won't be going anywhere during his two-year contract yet he acknowledged that Keane is his own man.

"I've made the commitment to do this job and that is what I want to do," he said.

"I asked Roy to come in with me and I'm quite sure his name will be linked to a number of clubs.

"My view is that I think Roy will be a manager himself again, I think that's what he wants to do and great, absolutely great.

"Did I expect him to be linked with Manchester United at this stage? No, not really but I'll just have to deal with these things."

O'Neill was speaking at the announcement of his provisional 32-man squad for Ireland's four summer internationals.

Stephen Ireland could still be added to that group after face-to-face discussions with O'Neill about his future, but the exiled midfielder will be told he must decide now if he is interested in a return.

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND SQUAD: Forde (Millwall), Randolph (Birmingham), Elliot (Newcastle); Keogh (Derby), Wilson (Stoke), Coleman (Everton), O'Shea (Sunderland), Pearce, Kelly (both Reading), Delaney (Ipswich), O'Brien (West Ham), Duffy (Everton), Clark (Aston Villa), Ward (Brighton); McCarthy (Everton), Hendrick (Derby), Whelan (Stoke), Green (Leeds), McGeady (Everton), Pilkington (Norwich), McClean (Wigan), Quinn, Meyler (both Hull), Hoolahan (Norwich); Keane (LA Galaxy), Long (Hull), Murphy (Ipswich), Walters (Stoke), Doyle (QPR), Stokes (Celtic), Cox (Nottingham Forest), Sammon (Derby).

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