Mick McCarthy is set to be appointed as the next Republic of Ireland manager, and an official announcement could be expected as soon as this weekend.
Virgin Media are reporting that McCarthy has been offered a contract by the FAI for the position, and the Irish Times have reported that the former Ireland captain has agreed to a two year deal worth €1.2 million
EXCLUSIVE: Mick McCarthy has been offered a contract to return as the Republic of Ireland soccer manager – Watch the News at 5:30 now on @VirginMedia_One for the very latest on this breaking story pic.twitter.com/ovJNGas3BU
— Virgin Media News (@VirginMediaNews) November 23, 2018
Sky Sports meanwhile have reported that negotiations between the two parties are ongoing, although they could be concluded over the next 48 hours.
It would be a very swift appointment by the FAI, with Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane only leaving their posts on Wednesday morning. Some have speculated that they want to have the new manager in place for the Euro 2020 qualifying draw, which takes place in Dublin on December 2nd.
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) November 23, 2018
McCarthy will be seen as the safe choice by many, having previously held the position from 1996-2002, leading the team to the last 16 of the 2002 World Cup. Ireland have failed to reach such heights since, and it will be hoped that the former 57-cap international can replicate his previous success.
He has been out of work since leaving Ipswich Town just before the end of last season, and has indicated his interest in the Ireland job during his recent work as a pundit on Virgin Media Sport.
Stephen Kenny seems to be the only other realistic candidate for the job, laying out his case for the position this morning. His lack of managerial success outside the League of Ireland may be seen as a concern however, and it is likely seen as a much riskier appointment by many in the FAI.
Wigan boss Paul Cook has also ruled himself out of contention for the post, saying he is committed to his current club. He managed Sligo Rovers for a five year period from 2007-2012, but says the Ireland job is one he would consider in the future.
It seems McCarthy will provide a steady pair of hands ahead of the vital upcoming qualifying campaign. The wisdom behind this potentially short-term outlook from the FAI is sure to raise plenty of questions however, and add to what is already mounting pressure on the association.