Republic of Ireland could turn to Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy

The Republic of Ireland will turn to Mick McCarthy to fill their vacant manager’s post – if Martin O’Neill and Guus Hiddink reject the chance to manage the national side, we understand.

The Blues boss has shot to the top of several bookmakers’ lists with the FAI (Football Association of Ireland) keen to appoint a successor to Giovanni Trapattoni before the end of the year, and is odds-on with some betting companies to take the job.

McCarthy managed Ireland for six years, guiding them to the 2002 World Cup, before going on to guide Sunderland and Wolves to the Premier League.

After having a clause removed from his contract in the summer, which would have allowed him to take the Ireland job without Ipswich being able to demand compensation, McCarthy reaffirmed his committment to the Blues’ cause last month.

However, we understand O’Neill wants another crack at managing in the Premier League and has distanced himself from the position that ‘was his to turn down’, while ex-Chelsea and Holland boss Hiddink is also a leading contender.


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The FAI’s recruitment process is well underway, following their failure to reach next year’s World Cup in Brazil, and Argentinean coach Hector Cuper has also been sounded out, while another former Ipswich boss Roy Keane remains an outsider.

Speaking on the subject last month, McCarthy said: “My understanding is Martin (O’Neill) has got it. I’m not looking for it and I prefer to make my decisions when somebody asks me the actual question, not when a journalist asks me a hypothetical question.

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“What would I do? I haven’t got a clue.”

He added: “I was asked when Giovanni (Trapattoni) was under pressure, do you fancy it? And I said ‘yes I would at some stage’, but I’m in a job and it’s not the right time. I’m loving what I’m doing here.

“Every time it comes up I’d like to be linked with it. That’s because of the job I did, not because I’m available. I’m contracted to Ipswich and loving the job I’m doing.

“In time I hope we can get to the Premier League with Ipswich.

“But it’s right I get linked because I did a good job there. Behind Jack (Charlton) I did a good a job, if not better, than anybody else.

“Martin O’Neill, because of circumstances, is unemployed. If I was unemployed it might be a different story.”

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