Martin O'Neill: No contact about Republic of Ireland job

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O'Neill keen to manage again

Former Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill says he has not been approached about the vacant Republic of Ireland job.

The Northern Irishman, 61, was named as a contender to replace Giovanni Trapattoni by Football Association of Ireland chief executive John Delaney.

"I've had no contact whatsoever with anybody from the FAI at this moment," O'Neill told BBC Radio 5 live.

Italian Trapattoni, 74, left by mutual consent after Tuesday's 1-0 loss to Austria in World Cup qualifying.

Defeat means the Republic have only a slim mathematical chance of finishing second in Group C and earning a play-off spot as they attempt to reach next summer's finals in Brazil.

O'Neill, who has also managed Wycombe, Leicester, Celtic and Aston Villa, has been out of work since he was sacked by Premier League club Sunderland in March.

He has never managed at international level, but was thought to be among the frontrunners to take over as England boss following the departures of Sven-Goran Eriksson in 2006 and Steve McClaren a year later.

"I have had time to reflect on what happened at Sunderland. I'm ready to go," he said in an interview with Sir Clive Woodward, coach of England's Rugby World Cup-winning team in 2003.

Kilrea-born O'Neill made 64 appearances as a midfielder for Northern Ireland between 1971 and 1984, captaining the team at the 1982 World Cup.

Leeds United boss Brian McDermott and Norwich City manager Chris Hughton have distanced themselves from the Republic post after both were also mentioned by Delaney.

He told Irish radio station Newstalk: "Names like [Mick] McCarthy, Brian McDermott, Chris Hughton, Roy Keane all come into the pot - Martin O'Neill, of course."

Martin O'Neill was speaking on Sir Clive Woodward Meets, a new series which began on Thursday, 12 September.

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