Saturday 18 January 2020

McCarthy growing impatient as FAI drag heels over Ipswich approach

Mick McCarthy
Mick McCarthy
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

The FAI have not made official contact with Ipswich Town regarding the availability of Mick McCarthy and risk angering the favourite to replace Giovanni Trapattoni if they drag their heels about making an approach.

McCarthy is interested in a return to the Ireland job, admitting that he would "like to be asked", but wants the FAI to make their intentions clear and avoid a prolonged process.

Speculation about the Ireland position dominated last weekend's Championship meeting with Burnley, and McCarthy will face another round of media questioning ahead of Saturday's trip to Bolton.

But he is no clearer about where he stands and is reluctant to get dragged into a circus – particularly if the FAI are hedging their bets and waiting on others before turning to their former boss. They sprung a surprise in 2008 when they produced Giovanni Trapattoni at the last minute.

As it stands, headhunters Ray Houghton and Ruud Dokter are speaking to prospective candidates before reporting to the FAI, who have given the recruitment pair a November 1 deadline. But the McCarthy camp would prefer for proceedings to move along quicker if he is the FAI's choice. Discussions regarding compensation would then have to take place.

The Abbotstown authorities already have a working relationship with Ipswich owner Marcus Evans as his company, THG Sports, provide corporate hospitality for matches at the Aviva Stadium. However, they have yet to ask him about the possibility of hiring his club's manager.

Martin O'Neill, the FAI's initial preference who is leaning towards a return to the club game, has been floated as a possible successor to Ian Holloway after he parted company with Crystal Palace yesterday.

O'Neill would relish a return to the Premier League but an upturn in fortunes for Fulham has reduced the chances of a vacancy arising at a destination where he would have support from sections of the board. The Palace position is less appealing.

Irish Independent

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