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Martin O'Neill. Picture: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

Martin O'Neill. Picture: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

Martin O'Neill. Picture: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

MARTIN O'NEILL is now the bookies' favourite to be Ireland's next manager and sources suggest that he would be open to the possibility after Giovanni Trapattoni has moved on.

Once considered as the favourite to replace Alex Ferguson, O'Neill's exit from Sunderland was as surprising as the appointment of his replacement Paolo di Canio and left him well down the list in the Old Trafford succession stakes.

And with David Moyes now installed on a six-year deal, O'Neill knows that his chance of managing a top four club has been hugely reduced by events and that management at international level could satisfy an urge for a new challenge.

Trapattoni remains in place while qualification for World Cup 2014 is still possible but a bad result against the Faroe Islands in the Aviva Stadium on June 7 would reignite pressure for change.


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