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Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane.

Ireland manager O’Neill wants answers from Keane

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Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane.

Ireland manager Martin O’Neill wants Roy Keane’s future sorted out sooner rather than later.

Now back home after Ireland’s U.S. tour ended with a heavy 5-1 defeat to Portugal, O’Neill is aware that Aston Villa want Keane as number two to manager Paul Lambert.

Keane recently turned down the opportunity to manage Glasgow Celtic, and O’Neill believes the Villa offer would allow him to continue in a part-time capacity with the national side.

Speaking after the New Jersey defeat to Portugal, Ireland’s biggest loss since the 1970s, O’Neill told reporters he wants to know what is happening with his assistant before August.

“I want to be careful about jumping the gun because we had him signed, sealed and delivered to Celtic and that did not materialize,” O’Neill said.

“I don’t really know if this is something that he is going to have a serious look at.  But if he is then I will definitely speak again to Paul Lambert and see if that kind of role can be combined.

“One thing I want to establish is what sort of in-depth conversations have gone on.

“I have spoken to Paul Lambert. Paul has spoken to Roy about the possibility of it happening.

“Nothing definitive has happened and I don’t really know what sort of commitment the Villa position would entail.

“If he is actually a full-blooded assistant then that is something to consider.

“I don’t mind the speculation going on for a week or two. Celtic wanted something in place as they have games coming up quite soon.

“And I assume Aston Villa will want to get something in place by the time they start pre-season. I don’t want it to be continued right through until August time.”

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