FORMER Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni is set for a return to international football with the Ivory Coast, but he may have to settle for a trip to Brazil only in a scouting capacity.
Reports in Italy suggest that the 74-year-old is close to finalising an agreement to take over from Sabri Lamouchi after this summer's World Cup. Trapattoni had indicated that he was keen to take control of a team ahead of their efforts in Brazil, but the African side are keeping faith with Lamouchi for the finals itself.
Italian media say that Trapattoni will be awarded a four-year contract with a view to making it all the way to Russia in 2018; he will be 79 when those finals come around.
If the deal formally goes through, he will again be joined in his new post by Marco Tardelli. The veteran has been linked with a variety of international roles since parting company with the FAI last September, in addition to club jobs in Italy, USA and Japan.
Ivory Coast, who will be captained in Brazil by Didier Drogba and also have Yaya and Kolo Toure in their ranks, are up against Colombia, Greece and Japan.