Tuesday 23 July 2019

Mick McCarthy in pole position to become Ireland manager again with Stephen Kenny still a contender

Dundalk’s Stephen Kenny has been touted as a possible Ireland boss. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Dundalk’s Stephen Kenny has been touted as a possible Ireland boss. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Mick McCarthy is the front runner for the Ireland manager's job and talks with FAI officials are expected to take place later this week, but the prospect of an approach for Dundalk boss Stephen Kenny has not been ruled out of the equation.

McCarthy is out of work at the moment and keen on a return to his old job, so there should be no obstacles to thrashing out a deal with the 59-year-old.

However, it's believed that a McCarthy return is not yet a done deal and the main alternative candidate is Kenny.

He was sounded out about the Ireland U21 role before the departure of O'Neill, but he believes he is capable of leading the senior team.

The Dundalk boss said today that it would be the 'ultimate honour' to manage his country.

He told the Dundalk Democrat: "I don't have a PR strategy. I don't have a dream team.  I think managing your country is the ultimate honour.

"If you offered me the job of managing Real Madrid or Barcelona or Ireland, I would choose to manage Ireland, because it's the greatest honour you can have as an Irishman."

McCarthy remains the favourite to succeed Martin O'Neill and the FAI are planning to have a new man in place in time for the draw for the Euro 2020 qualifiers, which takes place in Dublin on Sunday week.

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