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Ireland managerial search goes on with Lee Carsley still preferred candidate |



Republic of Ireland’s managerial search remains ongoing as officials attempt to land their number one candidate Lee Carsley.

Reports have suggested bookmakers’ favourite Carsley has indicated he will not be replacing Stephen Kenny, who was relieved of his duties in November last year.

However, the PA news agency understands the Football Association of Ireland have not given up on their preferred candidate are are working to put a plan in place to persuade the current England Under-21s boss that the job is for him.

Former Derby and Everton midfielder Carsley, who won 40 senior caps for Ireland, led England’s Young Lions to European Championship glory last summer to enhance his reputation as a coach.

However, while he has understandably been touted as one of the leading candidates for the Ireland job since Kenny’s departure at the end of a disappointing Euro 2024 qualifying campaign, conflicting reports have emerged over his willingness to accept an offer.

Contact is also understood to have been made with former Celtic boss Neil Lennon, while Roy Keane, who served as Martin O’Neill’s number two during his five-year reign on the international stage, has tentatively admitted his interest in the vacancy.

Chris Hughton, sacked by Ghana following their exit from the Africa Cup of Nations, Kenny’s one-time assistant Anthony Barry, now working under Thomas Tuchel at Bayern Munich, and current Greece head coach Gus Poyet have also been linked.

The task of identifying the right candidate has been handed to FAI director of football Marc Canham, chief executive Jonathan Hill and independent director Packie Bonner, and the association had hoped to have made an appointment before Thursday’s Nations League draw in Paris.

Ireland are due to face Belgium and Switzerland in a friendly double-header at the Aviva Stadium in March and this week announced fixtures against Hungary and Portugal in June.

They will not be at the Euro 2024 finals in Germany this summer after finishing fourth in Group B behind France, the Netherlands and Greece with all six of their points coming from home and away victories over Gibraltar.

Kenny, who replaced Mick McCarthy in April 2020, had targeted the campaign as the one during which his blueprint for lasting success with a young, vibrant team would come together, but he left his post having won only six of the 29 games for which he was in charge.

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