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Decision time

GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI has dangled the Ireland captaincy in front of Richard Dunne -- but there is no certainty that he will take it.

Dunne is thought to be personally distraught after a Euro 2012 campaign which imploded and is minded to join likely retirees Shay Given and Damien Duff in a mini-exodus.

However, Trapattoni has targeted Dunne as the senior man he needs the most when the 2014 World Cup campaign kicks off in Kazakhstan in September, suggesting that if Robbie Keane wants to remain in the squad, he will have to step aside for his friend.

"I have already asked him. He smiled. I don't have to convince him. At the moment we need Dunne again because we don't have another," said Trapattoni.

However, it is thought that the meeting between the two men to discuss future plans was less conclusive, and perhaps less cordial, than Trapattoni suggests and that he still has a lot of work to do to convince Dunne to stay on.