Martin O’Neill is remaining tight-lipped as speculation grows that he is to be the next manager of the Republic of Ireland international football team.
However, John Delaney, Football Association of Ireland (FAI) chief executive says they could appoint another overseas manager to succeed Giovanni Trapattoni.
Delaney is to hold talks about a possible replacement over the next few weeks but has not ruled out the former St Columb’s College pupil – or a return of Mick McCarthy.
Delaney said: “In terms of the next man all we want is the best manager. It does not matter whether he is Irish, English, continental or whatever.”
He added: “We want the best man in to get the best out of our players and get the team to the Euros in 2016. That’s what the Irish public want, that’s what the Irish soccer supporters want, that’s what the Irish association wants.”
The FAI chief executive said it was “not a must” to have a manager appointed before the next month’s World Cup qualifiers as the first Euro 2016 qualifiers don’t take place until September next year.
He added: “We must be confidential as we can. If you remember last time, Trapattoni came out of nowhere and there six or seven different favourites through the whole process.”
While O’Neill was staying tight-lipped, it is not the case for two other managers being tipped for the post. Both Brian McDermott (Leeds United) and Chris Hughton (Norwich CIty) have distanced themselves from the job.