O'Neill keen to retain Westwood

Tue, Jan 8, 2013, 00:00

Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill says he has received an enquiry regarding the availability of Keiren Westwood but insists the Republic of Ireland international will not be allowed to leave the Stadium of Light during the current transfer window.

“A manager did ask me about Keiren a few days ago,” said O’Neill: “rang me manager-to-manager, which seems to be very rare these days – and I just had to tell him we couldn’t do anything.”

“My situation is that I have a very good goalkeeper in reserve, but it is hard to drop Simon Mignolet when he is playing so well.

“The fact is I’m very reluctant to let anyone go because we simply don’t have the back-up. But Keiren clearly wants to play some games,” he acknowledged, “of course he wants to play.”

The sense of urgency for Westwood, who was signed by Steve Bruce from Coventry City in the summer of 2011, may well have been heightened by the suggestion Shay Given and Giovanni Trapattoni are to hold talks this week about a possible return to the international set-up by the long-time Irish number one.

Bruce, as it happens, is reported to be one of the managers interested in acquiring Westwood as he looks to strengthen his Hull City side for the promotion push over the second half of the season.

Delayed confirmation

Before that, however, he is expected to complete the signing of Robbie Brady with “paperwork” said yesterday to have delayed confirmation of the deal for at least another day although the 20-year-old Dubliner has now completed his medical at Hull.

The club also suggested David Meyler’s move might drag on into today but by last night the midfielder was describing himself as a Hull City player on twitter. Jay O’Shea has returned to MK Dons after his loan spell at Chesterfield.

Former Hamilton Academical player and assistant manager Stuart Taylor will be unveiled as Pat Scully’s successor at Limerick this Friday. The 38-year-old, who is currently finishing up as a member of the management team at Al-Khor in Qatar, is due to fly into Limerick on Thursday evening in order to meet the club’s players and start in his new role.

It is hoped that several more of last year’s squad will have been re-signed by then with just eight under contract so far.

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