Keane linked to Stoke switch along with O'Neill

Leslie Hanson
Января 12, 2018

Former Irish global Kevin Kilbane gave his opinion about what may have a bearing on O'Neill's decision to move on.

It is understood that O'Neill is open to the possibility of returning to club management.

He deems the club's traditional values to his liking, unlike several other Premier League outfits controlled by foreign ownership.

Given the requirement to regain stability at the Bet365 Stadium following a disastrous 2017, sources claim Stoke would want O'Neill on an undivided basis.

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

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With that matter seemingly clarified, Stoke are also encouraged by the likelihood of O'Neill transporting his backroom team - including assistant boss Roy Keane - to Staffordshire.

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.

If O'Neill had taken the job, he would have been free to walk away without the FAI reeceiving any compensation. The contract was agreed in principle, but O'Neill delayed.

O'Neill has worked alongside Keane in the Ireland job since 2013 and the pair helped the nation reach Euro 2016, while just missing out on qualification to this summer's World Cup after losing a two-legged play-off against Denmark in November.

RTE soccer pundit Eamon Dunphy said that the whole situation was "embarrassing" for the FAI and that he could not imagine the English FA, or any other Association, allowing a situation like that to continue.

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