Mick McCarthy and Roy Keane among favourites to be next Republic of Ireland manager
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy and former Blues boss Roy Keane could be in direct competition for the Republic of Ireland job if Martin O’Neill is lured to Stoke City, according to the Irish Sun.
The Irish Football Association recently extended the contracts of O’Neill and assistant Keane until beyond the Euro 2020 campaign, despite the nation having narrowly failed to qualify for this summer’s World Cup in Russia.
However, Stoke City, who are very much in a Premier League relegation battle, are understood to be in talks with O’Neill to replace the recently sacked Mark Hughes after top target, Quique Sanchez Flores, turned them down to stay at Espanyol.
It’s been reported that Stoke very much want O’Neill and Keane as a duo, but that the FAI would try and tempt Keane to stay on and take the top job.
If, however, Keane cannot be lured then the FAI could, it is said, turn to former boss McCarthy – the man who led them to the last 16 of the 2002 World Cup following an infamous fall-out with then-captain Keane.
McCarthy has been in charge of Ipswich for more than five years but is now in the final few months of his contract and has continually evaded questions about his future.
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He admitted, upon arriving at Portman Road in November 2012, that he would like to be Ireland manager again one day.
And in October 2013, when linked to the vacant position, refused to rule himself out of the running.
Three bookmakers are already offering odds on the next permanent Republic of Ireland boss – Keane is the favourite at 7/1, with McCarthy just behind on 8/1, followed by ex-Ireland international and Brighton boss Chris Hughton at 10/1.
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