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John O’Shea’s main rivals for Ireland manager job as shortlist emerges

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FAI may have finally progressed in appointing the next permanent Republic of Ireland manager.

The Irish Times have reported that the FAI are currently working off a five-man shortlist to appoint the next Ireland manager.

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Hughton coached Ghana at this year’s AFCONCredit: AFP
Sagnol will be busy with Georgia's EURO 2024 campaign

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Sagnol will be busy with Georgia’s EURO 2024 campaignCredit: Getty

Willy Sagnol, Slaven Bilic, Chris Hughton, Anthony Hudson, and John O’Shea all still under consideration almost eight months removed from Stephen Kenny’s departure.

Sagnol is the candidate suspected to be the FAI’s first choice for the job.

Sagnol led Georgia to a surprise EURO 2024 play-off victory over Greece back in March, with it being suggested that this win crashed the ‘existing contractual obligations’ deal the FAI thought they had in place.

His contract with Georgia expires at the end of this summer’s tournament.

Slaven Bilić was also linked with the role previously.

The former West Ham manager is currently available after recently leaving Saudi Pro League side Al-Fateh.

Chris Hughton is also out of work having left Ghana earlier this year.

Anthony Hudson is a less familiar name, although it has been said that the FAI are intrigued by the American.

Hudson previously managed Bahrain and New Zealand at international level, leading the latter to a play-off for the 2018 World Cup.

Hudson was also assistant manager for the United States at the 2022 World Cup.

Interim manager John O’Shea remains in charge for this month’s games against Hungary and Portugal, although it seems the FAI are not convinced of O’Shea on a permanent stay.

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MISSED MANAGEMENT

After Kenny left his role back in November, the UEFA Nations League draw in February was given as the deadline for appointing his successor.

When that deadline expired (and John O’Shea was given the job in March on an interim basis), it was said that a deal was nearly done but could not be announced until early April due to ‘existing contractual obligations’.

The next Ireland manager is likely to be in place for the team’s UEFA Nations League opener against England in early September.

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