Martin O’Neill has ruled himself out of contention to become the next Republic of Ireland coach.

The former Celtic manager was favourite to replace Brian Kerr, who was fired earlier this month, but O’Neill claims he has no intention of returning to the game just yet.

“I have no idea [why I was favourite],” he stated. “I don’t know how my name came into the betting.

“I left Celtic way back from months ago, obviously for personal reasons, and for a sabbatical out of football for a while.

“Now these circumstances haven’t changed one jot and, at the moment, I can’t see them changing in the foreseeable future.

“I genuinely don’t know that [a timescale for a return] and that will remain so for some time.”

O’Neill left football to look after his wife who was ill, although his name continues to be linked with a number of high profile positions.

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