Mick McCarthy closing in on Ipswich Town job – and set to be installed before weekend

MICK McCarthy is close to becoming the next manager of Ipswich Town.

The former Wolves boss was a leading candidate as soon as Paul Jewell’s departure was confirmed by the club on Wednesday.

McCarthy was contacted by this newspaper on Thursday but preferred to not comment on the speculation.

The rumours intensified over the last 24 hours and the odds on him taking over at Portman Road plummeted tonight to 1/7.

McCarthy could be unveiled on Wednesday or Thursday, in time for Town’s trip to Birmingham on Saturday.

Alan Curbishley was the early favourite with bookmakers, and declared he would be interested in talking with owner Marcus Evans, while ex-boss George Burley, Alan Shearer and Ian Holloway were also linked.

We understand Harry Redknapp was also very much in the running but the Blues have set their sights on the 53-year-old who also managed Sunderland and the Republic of Ireland.

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His time in international football saw him manage former Town fans favourite Matt Holland – and the former Blues skipper IS in the running for a place in the new-look coaching set-up. Terry Connor, who was McCarthy’s assistant at Molineux, is also expected to take up a position.

McCarthy, who was backed by ex-Ipswich striker James Scowcroft at the weekend, had talks with Nottingham Forest in the summer and was also linked with the current vacancy at Crystal Palace.