Trapattoni says no to Turkey at Christmas
Giovanni Trapattoni last night ruled himself out of contention for the Turkey job, despite reports in Istanbul that he had asked for time to consider the offer.
"This is just media speculation, I am totally committed to Ireland," Trapattoni said.
The Italian signed a new contract with Ireland last year which will take him to the 2012 European Championships and he has no intention of leaving now.
According to reports in Turkey, the Turkish FA had identified Trapattoni as one of their main targets following their failure to qualify for the World Cup and the subsequent departure of Fatih Terim. Guus Hiddink and Joachim Loew are also said to have been on the shortlist but Trapattoni has said he is not interested in being considered.
The Italian's number two Marco Tardelli also rubbished the suggestion. "I have spoken with Trap but there's no truth in it," he said. "Then there is also the story he's going to coach Nigeria in the World Cup but there is absolutely no truth to any of these rumours. "We are happy in Ireland."
Trapattoni has established a close working relationship with the FAI and at this stage in his career the FAI believe that is what matters more than money to the Italian.
Most of the speculation this month will involve players, not managers, but only a few of Trapattoni's players are attracting attention in the transfer window. Celtic are demanding £10m for Aiden McGeady, who may find himself priced out of a move to the Premier League.
Everton and Birmingham City have both expressed an interest in McGeady, who will play in the Old Firm game against Rangers at lunchtime today, but may be put off by the fee they are being asked to pay.
Celtic are reluctant to sell but Birmingham, who have yet to spend much of new owner Carson Yeung's money, may be the most persistent. Birmingham's manager Alex McLeish knows McGeady well from his time as Rangers' manager and is eager to recruit quality to boost his side, who have had an exceptional season so far.
Birmingham are on a 12-match unbeaten run and McLeish is eager to sustain the challenge in the second half of the season, something which should be easier with the £40m Yeung has made available to buy players in the transfer window.
McLeish is determined to spend cautiously and with Everton unable to pay the quoted price, Celtic will point to their reluctance to sell as a reason to demand a high price in a collapsed market.
"We are close to one or two things and we are in dialogue about players. Other than that, there's a lot of prices that don't appeal to me," McLeish said last week. "The law of economics is that if someone is prepared to pay for it, then that's what it's worth. But, at the moment, we don't appear to be in any bun fights with anybody in terms of competition for players. I don't think there's any need for us to be fleeced."
If Birmingham did get McGeady, Celtic might use the money to make a bid for Robbie Keane. Sunderland are believed to have revived their interest in the Tottenham captain and that move might appeal to Keane as well as Spurs manager Harry Redknapp, who would like to include Sunderland's Kenwyne Jones as part of the deal.
Redknapp has been told he must sell before he can buy and Redknapp always likes to buy. Keane would team up with former Tottenham team-mates Andy Reid and Darren Bent if he moved to Sunderland and Reid would undoubtedly welcome the opportunity of being watched more regularly by Trapattoni, although maybe not as much as he would welcome him taking the Turkey job.