DAMIEN DUFF has quit his post as assistant to Republic of Ireland boss Stephen Kenny – and sparked speculation he could return to Celtic.

The 41-year-old, who won 100 senior caps for his nation, joined the international set-up after leaving his backroom post at Parkhead in August.

Gavin Strachan, son of former manager Gordon, left his role at Peterborough to join Neil Lennon and John Kennedy to come in as his replacement before the start of the season.

Duff was appointed to the Irish staff along with Keith Andrews and had been expected to play his part in preparations for the forthcoming World Cup campaign. However, the former Blackburn Rovers, Chelsea, Newcastle and Fulham forward will be stepping down after only a matter of months at international level.

The Dubliner, who was brought to Glasgow by Brendan Rodgers in January 2019, told Sky Sports News: “I want to thank Stephen Kenny for the opportunity he gave me to coach with the senior Ireland team and I wish Stephen, Keith and the players all the very best of luck for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.”

No reason has been given for Duff’s departure, although it is understood he was unhappy at an investigation launched into a video shown to the Ireland players before their friendly against England at Wembley in November last year.

Team boss Kenny, the ex-Dunfermline gaffer who has yet to win in eight games, added: “Damien is an excellent coach as he proved in his time with us and his contribution to the Irish team was greatly appreciated by myself, my staff and the players and I wish him the very best of luck for the future.”

Duff cited family reasons for leaving his boyhood idols in the summer.

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