Official announcement expected today that Martin O'Neill is the new Republic of Ireland head coach with Roy Keane as his assistant

Martin O'Neill has agreed to become the new head coach of the Republic of Ireland and Roy Keane his assistant.

The FAI has confirmed talks are at an "advanced stage", with an official announcement of the appointment expected before the duo appear on ITV's live coverage on Tuesday night of Manchester United's Champions League game with Real Sociedad.

O'Neill will succeed Giovanni Trapattoni, who stepped down in September when Ireland’s failure to qualify for next summer’s World Cup in Brazil was confirmed.

He gets on well with the former Manchester United and Ireland captain and the prospect is a mouth-watering one: O’Neill’s analytical mind and motivational skills combined with the charisma and winning mentality of one of Ireland’s greatest players.

It is expected the pair will be unveiled in Dublin later this week, with Ireland scheduled to play a friendly match against Latvia on November 15.

O'Neill, 61, was the first choice of the FAI, despite speculation they wanted to bring Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy back for a second spell as manager, and they worked hard to persuade O’Neill to turn his back on club football.

O’Neill had been taking his time over a decision as he was initially reluctant to consider international management because he wanted to prove Sunderland were wrong to sack him after just 18 months by taking another club job, but agreement has now been reached for him to take his first role in international management.