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Martin O'Neill And Roy Keane On Verge Of Irish Exit

Martin O'Neill And Roy Keane On Verge Of Irish Exit

O'Neill is now out of contract with Ireland, meaning that neither Stoke nor the manager himself had to inform the association of discussions.

Stoke are thought to be reluctant to bring in O'Neill unless he resigns from his Ireland post after four years in charge; there is no chance of "double-jobbing" in the short-term.

The 65-year-old was free to hold talks with the Premier League side as he has not yet signed a new contract with the FAI, despite a verbal agreement to commit to the Ireland job for another two years.

He has verbally agreed to stay on in Dublin, but with no deal signed it is looking increasingly likely that he could be tempted by a return to full-time club management and former Manchester United and Ireland captain Keane is nearly certain to follow him to the bet365 Stadium should he agree on a move.

Quique Sanchez Flores has emerged as the front-runner to be the next Stoke City manager.

More news: Price Target Overview of Newmont Mining Corporation (NYSE:NEM)

The Irish Independent does, however, speculate that, should the package at Stoke fail to find room for Keane, he will remain with the FAI and another of the Irish backroom staff - Steves Guppy, Walford or Seamus McDonagh - will join O'Neill.

While the FAI confirmed yesterday that had received no approach from Stoke about talking to O'Neill, the Premier League club were entitled to go directly to the Derryman without consulting Abbotstown as nothing was signed and sealed.

Despite O'Neill taking time off for a holiday to reflect, fears of him walking away were allayed by his visit to the FAI headquarters before Christmas to plan for 2018 and attend the association's Christmas party. The contract was agreed in principle, but O'Neill delayed.

"I can't think of any other Association that would allow their manager to stall in this way", Dunphy told News At One on RTÉ Radio 1. It appears that O'Neill, whilst having agreed a contract with the FAI was still open to offers from others.


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