No deal signed but Martin O'Neill expects Roy Keane to stay on for Euros tilt
Martin O'Neill sees no reason why Roy Keane will not stay on as Ireland assistant manager for the Euro 2020 campaign.
O'Neill has verbally agreed to stay on for a third term after discussions with the FAI but no contract has been signed.
The Derryman wants to avoid lengthy public discussions on the topic this side of the World Cup play-off with Denmark.
But he confirmed at yesterday's squad announcement that he envisages Keane will be on board for the road beyond Russia.
"We have agreement with John (Delaney)," said O'Neill. "Nothing has been signed up, it was the same as the last time (before Euro 2016) and I think Roy would want to stay around.
"I'm not his keeper. I'm sure he would like to stay around. He enjoys it, mostly. I'm sure he'll want to stay on and we'll see. I probably don't want to talk much more about it. We've big games to come. We'll see."
O'Neill has named a provisional 34-man panel with no real surprises. Jon Walters is not on the list but the Irish manager has refused to completely rule the Burnley man out of calculations having previously indicated a knee problem would rule him out.
He said the striker is making 'very good progress' on the comeback trail.
James McCarthy is included after his Everton return on Wednesday - O'Neill was at their game with Chelsea - and he is a contender to replace the suspended David Meyler in the first leg if he gets more minutes under his belt.
"Meyler has stepped in and done brilliantly and I think he's got to be very pleased with his contribution," said O'Neill. "He has been great around and about the place even when he hasn't played. He's been an excellent influence and he's been rewarded. He got the captaincy too at the end of it all.
"And so all that enthusiasm, that bit of energy he brings to us, and the way he's played for us in the recent games - he would be hard to replace, I must admit. But James coming back, if he doesn't pick up an injury between now and then, is a plus for us."