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Martin O'Neill Ireland deal moves closer, Roy Keane likely to be assistant

Updated: Sunday, 03 Nov 2013 20:13 | Comments

Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane (l) could be confirmed as Ireland's new managerial team in the next few days
Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane (l) could be confirmed as Ireland's new managerial team in the next few days

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The appointment of Martin O’Neill as Republic of Ireland manager with Roy Keane as his assistant appears to be a done deal.

While the Football Association of Ireland has not made any official announcement, a number of media outlets are reporting that a deal with O'Neill is all but complete. 

Speculation had mounted since Friday that the former Celtic manager would be confirmed as Giovanni Trapattoni’s replacement in the coming days.

The most surprising aspect is the apparent choice of former Ireland captain Keane as his number two.

Speaking about the possibility of the pair taking charge, Celtic manager Neil Lennon said: "It'll be very interesting. They're two great characters with a vast knowledge of the game, two very proud men as well - God help the players!

"I'm surprised because I didn't realise there was a connection between the two but Roy has a great knowledge of the game, he was a magnificent player, one of the best of his generation and he'll lift any team walking into that dressing room."

Lennon, who played with Keane at Celtic in 2006, added: "He'll have the players on their toes, as will Martin and it'll be exciting to watch."

Ireland face Latvia and Poland (away) in friendly internationals on 15 and 19 November. 

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