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Martin O'Neill signs Republic deal as Coleman makes return

By Daniel McDonnell

Martin O'Neill last night officially put pen to paper on the new contract that will keep him in charge of the Republic of Ireland until Euro 2020.

And he received a boost when his captain Seamus Coleman returned to action for Everton in an U23 Cup match with Portsmouth.

Coleman played for 58 minutes in his first outing since his double leg break in the World Cup qualifier with Wales 10 months ago.

He was missed in the aborted attempt to make the World Cup in Russia, and will be central in the bid to regroup, rebuild and make Euro 2020 - with O'Neill at the helm for a third term.

The County Derry man penned the deal on the eve of the Uefa Nations League draw in Switzerland.

Last October, the FAI announced that O'Neill had agreed to stay on but that was before terms were discussed.

O'Neill was the subject of interest over the winter with a sounding out from Everton followed by an offer from Stoke.

But he decided against the Potters post and instead opted to stick with the FAI.

Contract talks were accelerated in the aftermath of the Stoke courtship and legal representatives from both parties met on Monday to iron out the final terms and conditions.

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