Martin O'Neill has told Roy Keane that he is fine with the Corkman taking on a role as Paul Lambert's number two at Aston Villa, but expressed his desire to avoid a long drawn-out saga by declaring a decision is to be made by August.
Having confirmed that discussions between Keane and Lambert have taken place, O'Neill suggested that he has no problem with the proposed job-sharing between Ireland and Aston Villa. What he would like to avoid, however, is a situation where both parties are involved in a discussion that drags on for the entire summer. As a result, the Ireland manager has told his assistant that he wants details of how both roles can be managed by July 31st. When asked about the progress of a deal between Keane and Villa, O'Neill said:
I want to be careful about jumping the gun because we had him signed, sealed and delivered to Celtic and that did not materialise. I don’t really know if this (becoming assistant manager at Aston Villa) 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.
The Ireland boss then showed his support for the idea:
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.
And on the time-frame for these discussions taking place, O'Neill continued:
I don’t mind it (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.
It will be interesting to see now how discussions between Roy Keane and Aston Villa progress.
via The Independent.