Republic of Ireland: Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane agree new two-year deals

Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane
Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane were appointed to the Republic positions in November 2013

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill and his assistant Roy Keane have agreed contract extensions until the 2018 World Cup.

The other members of O'Neill's backroom team - Steve Guppy, Seamus McDonagh and Steve Walford - have also signed new deals.

O'Neill, 64, and Keane, 44, have guided the Republic to qualification for Euro 2016, which starts on Friday.

The Republic's first Euro 2016 game is against Sweden in Paris on Monday.

Former Leicester City, Aston Villa and Celtic boss O'Neill said that he was "delighted" at the Football Association of Ireland's decision to offer the contract extensions.

O'Neill and Keane were appointed in November 2013 after the departure of previous boss Giovanni Trapattoni.

Republic job a privilege - O'Neill

"It has been an absolute privilege to have been in charge of the Republic of Ireland national team these last 30 months and we go to France tomorrow in good spirits, with a strong desire to do well," said O'Neill.

The delay in O'Neill signing a new deal following his team's Euro 2016 qualification last November led to some speculation that he was keen on a return to club football.

However, O'Neill continued to insist that he wanted to remain in the Irish job and the FAI always appeared confident that he would agree a new deal.

Keane was heavily linked with the Celtic manager's job in the summer of 2014 before opting instead to combine his Republic role with the position of assistant to then Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert.

The Cork man's stay with Aston Villa proved short-lived as he quit the post in November 2014, although he has spoken of his desire to return to club management on several subsequent occasions.

Keane was again linked with the Celtic job after Ronny Deila's departure last month and O'Neill admitted that the former Manchester United star "could very well" be ready for a new challenge.

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