Friday 18 January 2019

O'Neill says future with FAI is 'resolved'


Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Martin O'Neill last night said he had 'resolved' his future with the FAI but he has yet to put pen to paper on his new contract.

The Ireland boss spoke in a video released by the FAI which made only one reference to a week of confusion where he held discussions about leaving to take over as manager of Stoke City.

And the FAI have indicated that the Derryman will blank requests to offer further comment today, and will instead wait until next week's UEFA Nations League draw in Switzerland to take questions from the media on his position.

The FAI expect his contract to be signed before that trip.

"It's been resolved. John (Delaney) and I have agreed terms," said O'Neill. "It's just a matter of the lawyers looking over some detail and getting it signed up."

The rest of the brief interview with a member of FAI communications staff revolves around the manager looking ahead to the draw in Switzerland and speaking broadly about introducing younger players for forthcoming friendlies with Turkey and France.

O'Neill is in Ireland and is expected to be present at a joint FAI-IRFU function this morning, but he is planning to steer away from taking media questions.

Instead, Delaney will speak on behalf of the FAI to offer the association's take on the flirtation with Stoke which has dominated the past week and a half.

He will have to explain why the 65-year-old has yet to sign a contract to extend his stay with Ireland until Euro 2020 when the FAI had announced in October he would be staying on.

It's understood that terms had not been thrashed out when the FAI revealed that news. In November, the FAI's honorary treasurer Eddie Murray went on record to say that the contract was agreed and just needed to be signed.

That was in the aftermath of speculation about interest from Everton who also sounded out the Irish boss.

Former Ireland international Keith Andrews has urged O'Neill to address the situation quickly and feels it would be 'no problem' if he admitted that a return to day-to-day management was an attraction.

"If there's a bit of honesty and transparency then at least we can go, 'Okay, fair enough' and then we can move forward," Andrews said.

Irish Independent

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