MARTIN O'NEILL is being pressed to make a final decision on the Ireland manager's job in the next week, with the FAI stressing that they are anxious to have a new man in place for the November friendlies.
The 61-year-old is the Association's first choice to replace Giovanni Trapattoni and he gave positive vibes in discussions that were conducted through intermediaries this week, after earlier indications that he would prefer a return to the club scene, which left the FAI searching for alternatives.
However, the Derry native is very much in the frame but is still unsure about whether the Irish job is the right option for him at this stage of his career.
He is aware, however, that the FAI need a quick answer as they are hoping to appoint a new manager within the next fortnight. They have lined up a November 15 friendly with Slovenia in Dublin, a game that would hold no appeal with a caretaker in charge. That is followed by a trip to Poland on November 19.
O'Neill, who is renowned for taking his time before making a big decision, knows that he must give the FAI certainty of his intentions in the coming days so they can react accordingly. He is not interested in the vacant job at Crystal Palace, although they were keen to speak with him.
Ray Houghton and Ruud Dokter have been meeting with other candidates and are due to report to the FAI board next week, but O'Neill's deliberations will determine the speed of the process.