| 11.5°C Dublin

Half-dozen top managers hoping to replace Trap

UNEMPLOYED Irish managers are lining up ready to replace under-pressure Giovanni Trapattoni, who was yesterday forced to dismiss speculation that he is on Blackburn Rovers’ management short list.

Mick McCarthy, Roy Keane and Brian Kerr are all available and interested and they were joined yesterday by Owen Coyle after he was sacked by Bolton.

Reading boss Brian McDermott is also thought to be interested should his club’s billionaire Russian backers choose to go for a bigger name in the next few months.

Oman manager Paul Le Guen has also recently expressed an interest.

At first glance, the Blackburn link appears to be nothing more than a social media trend, but it's not the first time |Trapattoni's name has been linked with jobs outside Ireland and the trip to Kazakhstan proved that he still has wealthy admirers who would sign him up in an eyeblink.

Trapattoni claimed he had no |knowledge of how his name came to be linked with Ewood Park and the billionaire Venky family.

“I'm not aware of it,” said Trapattoni. “It must be agent chit-chat. I'm not |interested anyway. I'm concentrating on the task in hand.”

Meanwhile, Robbie Keane sat out |training in Malahide this morning due to a slight bruise on his achilles, but should be available for Friday’s clash.