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

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

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

S

till reckon Chelsea will go for Khedira as back up for Matic. I think it will turn out to be quite a Mourihno-y window: We'll see the squad players and youth in action pre-season, say things like well, we need not buy anybody and then the club will bid £60m for Pogba and send everybody on loan.

tk421
F365's Transfer Guide - Part One

I

would love to be a fly on the wall at the meeting between Milner and Rodgers. I don't know if flies can count, but if they can then I would be counting the number of times Rodgers used the word outstanding in his attempts to get Milner to sign.

godzilla
Reds and Arsenal chase Milner

W

ell, it wouldn't be a summer without Arsenal fans fretting over losing a key player, and United throwing their weight around and muscling in on transfer deals which are (apparently) near to completion. If we can't be entertained by the football on the pitch, let's enjoy the silly off-pitch soap opera of the transfer season. Hurrah!

CamberleyGooner
The Back To It Gossip

Footer 365

United fail with Varane and Bale bids

Manchester United have failed with a €150million bid for Raphael Varane and Gareth Bale but want Atletico Madrid's Joao Miranda, claim reports.

Costa 'so happy' at Chelsea - Mourinho

Jose Mourinho has dismissed claims Diego Costa is unhappy at Chelsea, insisting he is 'responsible for the good atmosphere' at Stamford Bridge.

Sepp Blatter 'under investigation' in United States

Outgoing FIFA president Sepp Blatter is being investigated by US authorities probing the corruption scandal, according to reports.

Mail Box

Liverpool 2015 Feels Like Liverpool 2011...

One Mailer says Benteke = Carroll, Bellamy = Milner and Clyne = Downing. Plus we have U21 Euro impatience, farewell Rio, Rafa Benitez, Milner, FIFA and title play-offs...

Calling Carlo For Liverpool... Please

One Liverpool Mailer wants a manager who isn't starstruck by the job. Plus why Milner has now become overrated, play-offs for the title, Ronaldinho and democracy..

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company