O’Neill finally signs new contract to stay as Ireland manager

After a period of controversy with a link to becoming manager at Stoke, Martin O’Neill has sat down and signed a new contract with the Republic of Ireland.

The contract extension will allow the Derry man to stay in the managers job till 2020 with Roy Keane and the rest of his backroom team also staying on as they look to put the World Cup Playoff defeat to Denmark firmly in the rear mirror.

O’Neill had verbally agreed to stay on with the chief executive of the FAI John Delaney after that game but it is only now that it was finally put on paper and all speculation about his future can be ended.

As well as the job with Stoke he has also being linked with vacant jobs at Everton and Leicester during his time in charge of the Boys in Green.

Delaney had always inclined that himself and O’Neill always had an understanding and speaking last week at the Aviva stadium the Chief Executive claimed he never had any worries.

“It’s not so much a clause, it’s an understanding,” Delaney said.

“There have been many approaches to Martin since he has joined us as manager. We’ve always had an open, very honest relationship.

“If any approaches are made, he’ll inform us. If an employee wants to leave an employer, you can’t stop them. It’s like if a footballer wants to leave Liverpool and go to Barcelona then they’ll go.

“Martin O’Neill, if he wanted to manage Stoke City or other clubs, he would have done so by now, but he doesn’t.”

The Republic of Ireland and O’Neill can now look forward to a friendly with Turkey in March where a number of inexperienced players are expected to feature while the inaugural Nations League is also on the horizon.

 

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