Thursday 20 September 2018

Harry Arter keen on Ireland return as Seamus Coleman intervenes to ease tensions ahead of Roy Keane reconciliation talks

Seamus Coleman has been in touch with Harry Arter
Seamus Coleman has been in touch with Harry Arter

Luke Edwards

Harry Arter is keen to return to the Republic of Ireland squad for the next round of international fixtures following his heated argument with Roy Keane, with captain Seamus Coleman acting as a peace broker.

Arter rejected a call up last week when he was named in the squad for the League of Nations game against Wales and tonight’s friendly in Poland, but he has been in touch with both Coleman and manager Martin O’Neill to try and solve the problem.

One of the reasons given for his reluctance to join up with the Ireland squad was the argument he had with assistant manager Keane during their summer training camp, although O’Neill stressed there were other issues, in the player's personal and professional life following a move to Cardiff City on deadline day, behind the decision.

Keane was furious with both Arter and Ipswich Town striker Jonathan Walters for missing training sessions because of injuries back in May and a leaked audio message from teammate Stephen Ward has put a graphic and expletive-ridden account of the argument into the public domain this week.

That version of events has been rejected by O’Neill, who revealed he was far from impressed by Ward’s lack of judgement in sharing his thoughts with a group of friends on WhatsApp, but admitted the bust up had soured Arter’s relationship with Keane.

That is likely to mean the pair will have to meet each other to resolve matters before Arter can return to the squad and O’Neill must decide whether he wants to select a player for the games against Wales and Denmark in Dublin, in October, who refused a call up this month when the squad has been ravaged by injuries.

Arter, though, is one of the few Ireland players starting regularly in the Premier League and has earned all of his 13 caps under O’Neill, who met the midfielder to discuss his future before this international break.

Coleman has also been in contact with the 28-year-old to play a part in easing the tension and the players are willing to accept him back into the squad.

Although Arter refused to play for Ireland in the aftermath of his row with Keane, Walters has taken part in this round of international games, despite almost coming to blows with Keane for the second time in his career.

The pair also clashed when Keane was Ipswich manager in 2009, before the striker was sold to Stoke City, but O’Neill is adamant there has been no lasting damage done.

Online Editors

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport