O'Neill set for Republic approach

Martin O'Neill could be handed the opportunity to become the new Republic of Ireland manager within days.

Last Updated: 13/09/13 at 09:46 Post Comment    Bet with SkyBet  World Cup. Click here to bet.

It is understood the 61-year-old has been earmarked as the Football Association of Ireland's number one target and that a formal approach is imminent.

The news is hardly unexpected with sources close to the former Sunderland boss having indicated his willingness to talk to the FAI.

Indeed, Sky Bet had installed O'Neill as an overwhelming favourite for the post even before Giovanni Trapattoni's exit on Wednesday.

FAI chief executive John Delaney warned the following day that favouritism would not necessarily represent a pointer to his board's decision.

However, O'Neill's name featured prominently in a list of potential candidates acknowledged by Delaney the previous day, and it appears that he could be ready to make his move in the hope of securing a deal as early as next week.

Whether or not the new man, whoever it may be, will take up his post in time for next month's penultimate World Cup qualifier in Germany remains to be seen.

Ireland travel to Cologne on October 11, a day short of a year since they were trounced 6-1 by the same opposition at the Aviva Stadium, a result - or more accurately, a performance - which proved to be the beginning of the end for Trapattoni.

They will bring down the curtain on a disappointing campaign at home to Kazakhstan four days later, and do not have another scheduled fixture until Serbia head for Dublin for a friendly in March next year.

Should O'Neill be offered and accept the job, the trip to Germany could prove a daunting baptism.

He has been out of football since losing his job at the Stadium of Light at the end of March with the club fighting for Barclays Premier League survival.

He had been drafted in by the Black Cats in December 2011 in a move craved for so long by many supporters, and his initial impact was little short of spectacular.

However, having dragged Sunderland clear of the basement battle in which they were engaged on his arrival, he struggled to take them to the next level despite being allowed to invest around £22million in Scotland striker Steven Fletcher and England winger Adam Johnson during his only summer transfer window.

By the time he was shown the door after a dour 1-1 home draw with 10-man Norwich, O'Neill's legendary enthusiasm appeared to have deserted him.

However, the Ulsterman is understood to be keen to return to the game, and the challenge of international football is one which appeals.

It was perhaps significant that he was unable, despite several attempts, to persuade long-time ally John Robertson to join him on Wearside, and it would be no surprise if he wanted to Scot to do just that in Ireland.

However, Robertson is currently recovering after suffering a suspected heat attack last month and that could preclude his involvement.


Sky Bet Free Bet Club: £10 free bet - £5 free every week


Related News

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

Mike_Christie
Please Stop Telling Us What To Think

H

ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

TheWhiz
Wenger hails important win

I

s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

redbornandbred
De Gea's Europa League target

Footer 365

Premier League: Tottenham boss Tim Sherwood rues loss of Gareth Bale

Tim Sherwood feels Tottenham could have challenged for the title this season had Gareth Bale still been in their side.

Premier League: Luis Suarez urges Liverpool fans to be calm during title run-in

Luis Suarez has told Liverpool fans to stay calm as the club attempts to win its first top-flight title in 24 years.

Premier League: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says his team can handle pressure

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says his team are able to handle the pressure as they chase fourth spot and an FA Cup win.

Mail Box

Mignolet Is The Reason For Liverpool Flying

Mignolet's bad kicking is the reason for Liverpool's success, whilst one man keep notes on F365 mails. Plus England excitement, Arteta and a bad Walsall experience...

City: Bottle Jobs, A Laughing Stock...

There are some harsh words for Manchester City and Manuel Pellegrini in the Mailbox this morning, as well as some rather nicer ones for Tony Pulis and his magic hat...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property