Ireland Is Close to Hiring O’Neill as Soccer Manager, BBC Says

Martin O’Neill is on the brink of being named manager of the Ireland national soccer team and will appoint Roy Keane as his assistant, the British Broadcasting Corp. reported on its website.

O’Neill, 61, would replace Giovanni Trapattoni, who left the position in September after Ireland was eliminated from World Cup qualifying. O’Neill last managed Sunderland, which fired him in March, with Celtic and Aston Villa among his other clubs.

Keane, 42, played 67 games for Ireland, but walked out of the squad prior to the 2002 World Cup after falling out with then-manager Mick McCarthy. He previously managed Sunderland and Ipswich Town.

Ireland plays exhibition matches against Latvia on Nov. 15 and Poland four days later. The squad for those games will be named on Nov. 5 and O’Neill could be appointed by then, the BBC said.

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