Tuesday 21 November 2017

McCarthy will be 'Plan B' option as FAI play waiting game with O'Neill

Mick McCarthy
Mick McCarthy
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

THE FAI are prepared to wait until November to unveil their new manager, with Mick McCarthy (right) the back-up plan if Martin O'Neill turns them down.

Association sources have indicated that the hierarchy may take "six to eight weeks" to confirm the process of replacing Giovanni Trapattoni, which means that a caretaker will have to be installed for the concluding World Cup double header with Germany and Kazakhstan.

O'Neill remains the preferred candidate but there has been no approach to the Derry man as yet. The FAI board are set to sit down in the coming days and confirm their plan of action, with the financial support of Denis O'Brien helping them to construct an attractive financial package.

They will offer the former Celtic boss the job but are considering alternative plans in case he says no. The 61-year-old is said to be relaxed about the lack of contact from the FAI as it has given him time to mull over his next move, with another stint in the club sphere still holding appeal.

While the FAI have received a variety of applications from managers across Europe and beyond, they are keen to appoint a familiar face from this part of the world. McCarthy retains support and is the Plan B if O'Neill decides to pass up the opportunity.

A move for the former boss would require a compensation payment to Ipswich as a clause in his contract allowing him to leave for free if Ireland came calling has expired.

McCarthy admitted last week that he wouldn't know what to do if he was given another opportunity to manage Ireland, but backed O'Neill's candidacy in the belief that the Kilrea native is “nailed on” for the job.

However, while FAI chief executive John Delaney initially said that the authorities would prefer to have a new man in place for next month's qualifiers, it appears that the most pressing aspect of the board’s deliberations will be to identify a caretaker to name a squad for the dead rubbers in Cologne and Dublin.

Meanwhile, Dublin is officially in the running to host games at Euro 2020. There is strong competition, however, with 32 cities bidding for 13 places. Wembley, Cardiff and Glasgow are also possible venues, while Istanbul is the strong favourite to get the final.

Irish Independent

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