Wednesday 18 October 2017

LATEST: FAI sources confident Martin O'Neill will remain despite Leicester interest

Martin O'Neill, manager of Republic of Ireland looks on with assistant Roy Keane during the UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifier Group D match between Republic of Ireland and Scotland last month
Martin O'Neill, manager of Republic of Ireland looks on with assistant Roy Keane during the UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifier Group D match between Republic of Ireland and Scotland last month
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

THE FAI have refused to comment on speculation linking Martin O’Neill with the vacant post as manager of Leicester.

Several bookmakers suspended their markets on the Leicester role his morning after their offices in England received substantial bets on the Irish boss.

However, it’s understood there has been no approach from the Premier League club for O’Neill and FAI sources have indicated to independent.ie that there’s ‘nothing’ in the reports that have pencilled O’Neill in as the man to replace Nigel Pearson.

Despite that private confidence in Abbotstown that they will keep hold of their man, it has been reported in England this afternoon that Leicester would be interested in speaking to O’Neill about the position as they consider their options.

It would be a surprise if the Derryman walked away from the job with four games of the Euro 2016 campaign remaining.

He was handed the Irish post on a two year contract with the brief of securing qualification for next summer’s European Championships in France and that remains a possibility even though last month’s disappointing draw with Scotland has left O’Neill and his assistant Roy Keane facing an uphill task.

Last year, O’Neill also jumped to the head of the market when Nottingham Forest were on the hunt for a new manager. On that occasion, the FAI moved quickly to dismiss the rumours.

The 63-year-old suggested earlier this year that he would be open to extending his stay with Ireland but he acknowledged that a limp end to Ireland’s attempts to make France could take any decision out of his hands.

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