Struggling solo star Ronan Keating's hopes of a chart hit with fellow Irish singers Westlife has been dealt a crushing blow - by his ex-manager LOUIS WALSH.

The WHEN YOU SAY NOTHING AT ALL hunk was delighted when his former protegees Westlife asked him if he would like to duet with them.

However the MANDY quintet's current boss Walsh, who used to guide Ronan and his former band Boyzone, quickly put a dampener on the plan.

A source says, "The boys feel they owe Ronan a mark of respect as he was so helpful to them in the beginning. But the feud between Ronan and Louis is deeper than anyone knows."

Ronan's third solo offering TURN IT ON only made number 18 in the UK charts and 56 in his native Ireland.

Louis says, "I'm f***ing delighted with the charts on his album and I'm not interested in managing him again.

"He would not listen to me and thought he knew better. I fell out with him because I didn't like his last album and he wanted to write all of his own songs."

16/12/2003 16:56