Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane Set for Republic of Ireland Management

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistNovember 2, 2013

VILLARREAL, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 02:  ITV guests Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane (R) give their views before the UEFA Champions League Group A match between Villareal CF and Manchester City at El Madrigal on November 2, 2011 in Villarreal, Spain.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

The beginning of a relationship that’s been some time in the making, Martin O’Neill is set to be named Republic of Ireland manager following weeks of speculation over who would take the position.

What's more, BBC Sport says that former Manchester United, Celtic and Republic of Ireland midfielder Roy Keane will be brought in as his assistant.

UPDATE: Tuesday, Nov. 5, at 6:55 p.m. GMT

From Sky Sports News:

---End of update---


UPDATE: Tuesday, Nov. 5, at 11:30 a.m. GMT

From Sky Sports News and the FAI:

FAI say talks over appointing Martin O'Neill as manager and Roy Keane as assistant at an advanced stage #SSN

— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) November 5, 2013

Speaking today FAI CEO John Delaney said, 'Detailed discussions with Martin and Roy are advanced.We hope to have things signed by Saturday'

— FAI (@FAIreland) November 5, 2013

---End of update---

After his failure to qualify for next year’s World Cup, Giovanni Trapattoni vacated the post in mid-September by mutual consent, although his contract with the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) ran until May 2014.

SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - MARCH 17:  Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill loooks on before the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Norwich City at the Stadium of Light on March 17, 2013 in Sunderland, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Imag
Michael Regan/Getty Images

O’Neill, though born in Kilrea, Northern Ireland, will look to rebuild a side that succeeded in making it to Euro 2012 but could only manage a fourth-place finish behind Germany, Sweden and Austria in their World Cup qualification group.

The 61-year-old would be heading into his first national team position having been dismissed from his last job at Sunderland on the back of eight results without a victory.

According to BBC Sport's Pat Murphy, O'Neill is prepared to make his move into international management and the Keane appointment is one that will fit the players:

Working with Keane intrigues him. He contacted Keane and was encouraged by his enthusiastic response.

The Ireland players will have idolised Keane as youngsters and O'Neill will be a popular appointment in Ireland, given his success at Celtic a decade ago.

According to a recent report by the Belfast Telegraph, betting was suspended on O’Neill being appointed as the Republic boss, beating the likes of former manager Mick McCarthy to the role.

O’Neill made more than 60 appearances for Northern Ireland during a 13-year international career across the 1970s and early ‘80s, and will now take charge of the team for the November friendlies against Latvia and Poland.

In a managerial career now spanning more than 25 years, the Green Army’s latest helmsman comes into the position having managed three Premier League clubs: Leicester City, Aston Villa and the aforementioned Black Cats.

However, it was at the Stadium of Light that O’Neill produced his worst league game-winning percentage of just 29.1 percent, according to MSN’s Lee Harvey.

The veteran can only hope that he prospers more at the Aviva Stadium, but by no means would O’Neill be taking on an easy task.