Roy Keane ends Celtic speculation to stay with Republic of Ireland
Roy Keane has ended speculation that he will be Celtic's next manager by asking the club not to consider him for the role.
It is believed the Republic of Ireland's assistant manager has decided to remain in his current job after considering his options over the past few days.
It is understood Celtic were preparing a formal offer for the former Manchester United captain but in the end, the 42-year-old decided to see out his commitment with the national team.
Keane was the favoured candidate for the Celtic job, but it's understood he had asked not to be considered for the job after he had given it some thought.
Keane made his decision known to Republic manager Martin O’Neill and FAI Chief Executive John Delaney earlier today, it is believed.
The news comes following a week of speculation mounting about where Keane’s future lay.
Keane, who finished his playing career at Parkhead, was first linked to the Celtic manager job after Neil Lennon stepped down from the position 10 days ago.
When Keane was first questioned over the speculation linking him with the role, he played down the reports, saying: "I've got a job - I've got two jobs - I can't have another one.
"They are a brilliant club, an absolutely fantastic football club, one of the best in the world. But I have got a job."
He added with a smile: "I'm not taking a pay cut for anybody."
Martin O'Neill confirmed last Tuesday that he had been approached by Celtic owner Dermot Desmond to gain permission to speak with the Cork man.
Keane has been the odds-on favourite to take over the role ever since but the news that he has reaffirmed his commitment to Martin O'Neill and the Republic of Ireland setup will come as a major boost to Martin O'Neill, the FAI, the Irish squad and supporters.
Former Celtic striker Henrik Larsson had been the early favourite to assume the role but he ruled himself out of the running.
Steve Clarke is now the new favourite to take over with the SPL champions at 4/6, former Cardiff City boss Malky Mackay is next at 3/1 and former Irish international Owen Coyle is 5/1.
Keane will now be on the flight for Ireland's United States tour where they take on Portugal and Costa Rica.
Belfast Telegraph Digital