Ireland manager Martin O’Neill has said that Roy Keane has spoken to Celtic in relation to the vacant Celtic position. While Celtic have issued a statement stating that they are speaking to a number of candidates, O’Neill labelled his talk with Dermot Desmond as an informal chat, rather than Keane being offered the job.
“I’ve spoken to him (Keane). I had a call the other day from Dermot Desmond wanting to speak to Roy if it was at all possible. I mentioned it to Roy, of course. I’m sure he wanted to have a chat because obviously a club like Celtic might not come around too often. It was a really informal chat I think,” continued O’Neill about his talk with Dermot Desmond.
“I would be really disappointed of course if Roy was to leave us. I kind of felt when I took him on in the first place for the course of the next 18 months to two years that this kind of thing was likely to happen. He was coming right back into high profile again and perhaps I didn’t expect it to happen so quickly.”
Very, very big club
According to O’Neill Celtic has not been the first offer for the services of his assistant but confirmed he will go to London for their clash with Italy but whether he will go to America for the final two games is in doubt. But O’Neill himself who left Leicester City to take over at Celtic Park said those offers dont come around very often.
“I think we’ll take it step by step at the moment. Things can develop very, very quickly or slowly but I expect him to be there for the game coming up against Italy. He’ll keep me informed the whole way along. I think we’ll take it step by step at the moment. Things can develop very, very quickly or slowly but I expect him to be there for the game coming up against Italy.
“I would be disappointed obviously if he’s gone but a club like Celtic is a very, very big club and those particular offers don’t come around too often. I think Roy’s ready for anything. I think he’s always been ready for anything.”
Having brought Keane into the Irish set up, O’Neill also stated that he had no regrets about appointing him as his right-hand man, although it would appear Keane will not be in his position for one competitive game. O’Neill also said that it was unlikely that Keane could return in some capacity due to the pressures of club football but he wouldn’t dismiss it should the former Manchester United captain become manager at Celtic Park.
“I’ve no regrets, absolutely not, and he’s not gone yet. We are at a speculative time at the moment but absolutely not. I think that Roy coming into this particular job has rekindled interest in him, believe it or not. Whether these opportunities would have arrived so quickly if he had not done so, I don’t know. But no, I’ve no regrets whatsoever. We would all be disappointed – players, backroom staff and myself – and I was the one who brought him in.
“I would be really disappointed of course if Roy was to leave us,” said O’Neill. “I kind of felt when I took him on in the first place for the course of the next 18 months to two years that this kind of thing was likely to happen. He was coming right back into high profile again and perhaps I didn’t expect it to happen so quickly.”
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