RUSSIA will have a new man in charge when they take on Ireland in the Euro 2012 qualifiers as Dutchman Guus Hiddink has confirmed that he is quitting his post in the summer.
Hiddink is highly regarded in Russian football circles in spite of the team's failure to qualify for the World Cup finals. However he has now decided to walk away and says he'll quit when his current contract, reportedly worth €7m-a-year, ends in June, though many in Russia want him to leave straight away - they have a friendly away to Hungary next month - to give a new manager time to settle in. An immediate departure would suit Hiddink if, as it's claimed, he wants to manage at the World Cup finals as Nigeria and the Ivory Coast have already been linked Hiddink.
Fellow Dutchman Dick Advocaat, currently in charge of Belgium, has already been linked with the job. Valeri Gazzayez and Yrui Semin have been touted in the local media but the Russian FA could still make a move for Advocaat. Meanwhile, the FAI have confirmed that the national team will play two friendlies at the RDS, Dublin, later this year as part of the preparations for the Euro 2012 qualifiers.
Ireland will play Paraguay on Tuesday May 25 and then take on Algeria on Friday May 28 at the RDS, the first time Ireland have played there since a 1-0 defeat to Wales in 1992.
FAI Chief Executive John Delaney said yesterday it was unlikely that Liam Brady would be replaced in Giovanni Trapattoni's managment team, with assistant manager Marco Tardelli set to assume Brady's duties.