Martin O'Neill: Roy Keane altercation "may have been part of the reason" for Harry Arter's absence from Ireland squad 8 months ago

Martin O'Neill: Roy Keane altercation "may have been part of the reason" for Harry Arter's absence from Ireland squad

Harry Arter will not feature in Ireland's UEFA Nations League opener against Wales.

Though he was originally named in the provisional squad, Harry Arter was not named on Monday morning in the final squad to face Wales on 6 September.

Media reports suggested that a bust-up with assistant manager Roy Keane was behind Arter's omission, and at a press conference today, manager Martin O'Neill seemed to confirm that fact.

Though he alluded to Arter's desire to focus on his club career, O'Neill accepted that the altercation between Keane and Arter "may have been part of the reason" that Arter chose to leave the Ireland set-up. "I won't deny that," O'Neill added.

O'Neill said that Arter may not even return to the Irish squad, saying that the midfielder has remained with his club to clear his mind.

O'Neill also faced questions about the future of Declan Rice, the young West Ham talent who has lined out for Ireland in three friendly fixtures but has yet to win a competitive cap.

Rice was not named in the most recent Irish squad as he considers declaring for the English national side instead. O'Neill said that he hasn't spoken to Rice directly on the matter.