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Robbie out in cold

FAI set for talks to decide Keane severance deal

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Limbo: Former Republic of Ireland assistant Robbie Keane

Limbo: Former Republic of Ireland assistant Robbie Keane

SPORTSFILE

Limbo: Former Republic of Ireland assistant Robbie Keane

The FAI and Robbie Keane are set for tense talks on a severance package.

Keane was left out of a new-look management team named by new senior team boss Stephen Kenny.

And the FAI are planning for Kenny to have at least six senior games under his belt as manager, in the Nations League and possibly a friendly, before he takes on Slovakia in the Euro 2020 play-off, a tie now likely to be played in November.

Kenny has been installed as the new senior team boss, four months ahead of schedule, and he's confirmed that Keith Andrews and Damien Duff will join Alan Kelly on his coaching staff with Jim Crawford replacing Kenny as manager of the U-21 team, John O'Shea in as his assistant.

But there was no mention at all of Keane, who was senior team coach under McCarthy, in a 416-word statement issued by the FAI confirming the management changes, as Keane has been replaced by former team-mate Duff.

Keane has two years left on an FAI contract reportedly worth €250,000 a year and it's seen as highly unlikely that he would work on the same management team as Kenny.

A suggested role in the FAI’s High Performance Department is complicated by the fact that Keane is assistant manager at Middlesbrough and unable to commit to a full-time role in Dublin.

Keane has not commented on the matter but his wife was vocal on his exclusion from the new set up on social media, suggesting a lack of respect from the FAI. Sources close to Keane have also noted the limited public involvement of his former team-mate Niall Quinn in the transition from McCarthy to Kenny, which has seen Keane left out.

Gary Owens (pictured), interim CEO of the FAI, said last night that he had an “open mind” on a role for Keane. “We are very open to sitting down with Robbie and his agent to talk about what role he may or may not play in the Association,” Owens told Newstalk.

Owens also said that Kenny would get time to prepare for the major test against Slovakia. “There is talk they may well have the two playoff matches in the November period. For most of the countries, they don’t want the first match to be a playoff.”

Owens has refused to deny that Mick McCarthy will be in line for a bonus payment if Stephen Kenny brings Ireland to the Euros.

Owens was asked about the arrangement on ‘Off The Ball’ and suggested the FAI would have no problem paying bonuses if they secured the €9m+ prize from booking a passage to next summer’s finals.

“We would honour Mick’s contract,” said Owens, declining to go into specific detail on any division.

“But if we qualify for the Euros we won’t really have a financial problem because it actually is quite lucrative for us to qualify and I’d be happy to pay all the bonuses that people deserve if we get there.

“To be honest, it’s a small priority for us, if we got there, in terms of bonus payments.”