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Gus Poyet turns down chance to take over as Ireland manager

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Another blow for FAI chiefs as top contender drops out of contention

Greece manager Gus Poyet could be the Republic of Ireland’s new boss. Photo: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Gus Poyet has become the latest high-profile candidate to turn down the chance to become Republic of Ireland manager, in what is another embarrassing setback for the FAI.

The experienced Poyet had emerged as the firm favourite to take over from Stephen Kenny after former Ireland midfielder Lee Carsley opted to remain in his role as England under-21 boss following talks with FAI chiefs.

While Poyet has publicly expressed an interest in succeeding Stephen Kenny as Ireland boss, the Irish Independent understands negotiations with the Greece head coach broke down as he was looking to bring an extended backroom staff with him into the job.

Despite Poyet’s withdrawal from the race to be the next Ireland boss, a senior FAI official said that the association “remain on track for an April appointment”.

Frenchman Willy Sagnol has been strongly linked with the Ireland vacancy in recent weeks, but he will not be available until after this summer’s European Championships after leading Georgia to the finals in Germany with a play-off win against Poyet’s Greece last Tuesday.

Meanwhile, John O’Shea has confirmed he would relish the chance to take on the role after stepping in as Ireland’s interim boss for this month’s friendlies against Belgium and Switzerland.

Former Ireland and Manchester United captain Roy Keane is believed to have met up with FAI chiefs to discuss the vacancy, while the highly respected ex-Ireland defender Chris Hughton could be part of a new-look Ireland set-up.

Ireland’s next matches are in June when Hungary come to Dublin for a friendly international before a game against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal in Aveiro.

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